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Does thee remember, Dorothy, the Spring days? " 



QUAKER BEN 



A TALE OF COLONIAL PENNSYLVANIA 
IN THE DAYS OF THOMAS PENN 



BY 
HENRY C. McCOOK 

AUTHOR OF "THE LATIMERS," "TENANTS OF AN OLD FARM," 
"OLD FARM FAIRIES," ETC., ETC. 




PUBLISHERS 

GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO. 

PHILADELPHIA 

T 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

322159B 

ASaOK. LENOX AND 
TiLOKN KOINDATIONH 



Copyright, 191 1, by 
George W. Jacobs & Company 



Published May, igii 



PREFACE 

The period of the administration of Thomas Penn, 

I (1737— 1742) in the colony founded by his distin- 

ilguished father, was one of great historic interest. The 

^^ infamous " Indian Walk " which led to the cruel and 

- criminal expulsion of the Delaware Indians by their 

"^j^arlike conquerors and masters, the Iroquois, at the 

^ instigation of Thomas Penn, was an incident thit led to 

^serious consequences. The attack by Great Britain on 

'^he Spanish Main in the unfortunate Cartagena cam- 

^paign, in which the American colonies, with their custom- 

^ary loyalty, heartily joined, was another incident that 

) sorely vexed the peace-loving spirit of the Friends, 

'though it had the co-operation of the belligerent citizens 

.of Penn's colony. 

1' The outbreak of the yellow fever in Philadelphia 
Hwas a third occurrence of the period, which, united with 
/those mentioned, seemed to the author to furnish the 
^elements for an historic romance that would be alike in- 
teresting and instructive. Indeed, the entire condition 
of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia at that particular 
period, both in the city and on the frontiers, was one 
of transition, of civil and social and religious evolution 
that invites the attention of intelligent readers. 

The great interest expressed by many readers of the 
author's earlier romance, " The Latimers," in the Scotch- 
Irishman, Andy Burbeck, suggested his introduction as a 
boy in " Quaker Ben," with members of his family to 
furnish the environment in which the lad was devel- 
oped. 

Any literary treatment of the Quaker element of this 
period would not be complete without some representa- 
tion of the historic views of Friends upon the operation 



PREFACE 

of the Divine Spirit in the reHgious conversion of men. 
The spiritual experience of Robin More is not wholly- 
fictitious. It does not represent the author's views, nor, 
indeed, the views of most Friends whom he knows, upon 
the ordinary Divine method in that phase of the spiritual 
life of man therein depicted. But it represents with 
substantial accuracy, the experience of Stephen Grellet, 
a French nobleman, one of the Emigre, who became a 
convert to and an eminent preacher of the peculiar re- 
ligious principles of the Friends. 

The Quaker wedding at the close of the tale, with the 
exception of Arthur Burbeck's speech, which of course 
is purely imaginary, is drawn from the life in its essen- 
tial features. It is an interesting phase of social life 
that seems to be passing away. 



CHAPTER 

I 

II 

III 

IV 

V 

VI 

VII 

VIII 

IX 

X 

XI 

XII 

XIII 



XIV 
XV 

XVI 

XVII 

XVIII 

XIX 

XX 

XXI 

XXII 

XXIII 

XXIV 



CONTENTS 

PART ONE 

PAGE 

A Transportation Train of Colonial Days ... 3 

Old Friends in New Lights 10 

William Penn's Son and Successor ..... 18 

A Meeting at Pennsbury 27 

The Fox Turns Hunter and Misses the Game . 34 
Reminiscences, a Rescue, and a Rose in Ben- 

Thee's Path 45 

An Old-Time Maying Fair 55 

Foot Races at the Fair 62 

An Interview with Fjianklin 71 

Ben-Thee Strikes a Trail 79 

A Conflict on Deck and a Victory 86 

Thomas Penn's Indian Walk Purchase .... 96 

A Startling Disclosure 105 

PART TWO 

Recruiting for Cartagena 119 

How A Lawyer Recruits for His Majesty's Service 128 

A Divine Call and its Answer 140 

Before the Walls of Cartagena 147 

A Duel with Death 159 

Dorothy Goes Upon Her Mission 170 

Robin More Comes Home from the War ... 180 

A Great Transformation 189 

Robin More Comes to a Decision 197 

Dorothy's Mission Camp Upon the Susquehanna 210 
Plot and Counter-plot 221 



CONTENTS 
PART THREE 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XXV A Fishing Picnic at the Schuylkill . , . . 233 

XXVI Cupid Walks a Hospital Ward 242 

XXVn Dorothy Falls into the Hands of Diabolonians . 256 

XXVni How Nature Aided Providence 266 

XXIX A Quaker Captain Meets a Sea-Rover .... 278 

XXX Mr. Reagan Has a Visitor 290 

XXXI How Andy Gets Out of His Cave 302 

XXXII Engagement Days 316 

XXXIII We Go TO A Quaker Wedding 328 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

" DOES THEE REMEMBER, DOROTHY, THE SPRING DAYS ? *' . Frontispiece 

FACING 
PAGE 

ENSIGN ARTHUR BURBECK RECRUITS MR. FRANKLIN FOR THE CAR- 
TAGENA WAR 124 



' MAY HEAVEN BLESS THEE BOTH, MY CHILDREN ! " WAS FATHER 

OWEN'S REPLY 268 



'flowers and all!" she SOFTLY SAID . • 3OO 



PART ONE 



QUAKER BEN 

A Tale of Colonial Pennsylvania 
CHAPTER I 

A TRANSPORTATION TRAIN OF COLONIAL DAYS 

From the stable yard of the Black Horse Inn near 
Bala, on the old Lancaster road of Pennsylvania, a pack- 
horse train had just set forth. As the road was heavy 
after the spring rains, traveling was labored and slow, 
and an early start was made. On each side of the way 
thick woods extended down to the Schuylkill River, the 
noble survivors of which are well remembered by old 
residents of West Philadelphia; and, indeed, here and 
there a venerable white oak or chestnut still remains. 

The day had fairly broken, a bright warm day toward 
the close of April, 1737. The tokens of an early 
spring showed plainly in the deepening green of the 
willows, the reddening buds of the swamp maple, and 
the wild flowers, — spring beauties, dragon's-tooth, 
anemones and violets, that bloomed abundantly along the 
edges of the road and woods. The air was athrob with 
the season's new-born life. Robins, thrushes and 
meadow larks filled the meadows and woods with music, 
for the first flush of the mating days stirred them to 
their love-calls. Our travelers, in sympathy with na- 
ture, and having that uplift of spirits which comes with 
the nearing close of a tedious journey, and the anticipa- 
tion of new scenes, were in gay mood. 

Theirs was a typical pioneer caravan of the period. 



4 QUAKER BEN 

The horses — a dozen of them or more — were laden 
with peltry and ginseng, heaped up in well-balanced bales 
that projected from each side. Their attendants were 
two bronzed frontiersmen, a boy and a stout negro. 
The lad's lively sallies and high spirits seemed to add to 
the gayety of his companions, and drew the attention of 
the two principal members of the party who rode a few 
yards in front. 

One of these was a young man above the medium 
height, habited in a short coat, riding-breeches and 
boots. He wore a laced cocked hat, and carried a sword 
at his waist belt. His dress was a cross between that of 
soldier and merchant. His features, which barely es- 
caped being handsome, were marred by an expression of 
sensuality that appeared despite their open bonhomie 
and intelligence. He rode a mettled sorrel horse some- 
what uneasily, often turned back to note the pack train, 
and threw restless glances into the woods on each side 
and in front. 

" I don't see what more I could have done ! " he said, 
turning to his riding companion, a tall, broad-shouldered 
frontiersman who rode a bay mare unusually large and 
spirited, on which he sat with the ease of an expert 
horseman. " I am sure the horse and pack were lost 
through no fault of mine. You can assure our people 
of that, can you not?" 

"Thee seemed to do thy best, friend Oster." The 
strong quiet voice that responded had that full, manly 
ring which is apt at once to win confidence in the speaker. 

" It was most unfortunate ! " continued the person ad- 
dressed as Oster. " A good pack horse and a valuable 
load gone, — our richest and best furs — just as we are 
nearing the city ! Our firm will not be pleased at that, 
Ben-Thee!" 

'' Thy firm, please ! " was the unruffled response. 

" What ! " exclaimed Oster, " would you go back on 
me? You came as an escort, — to protect me and my 
goods from damage and loss — didn't you ? " 



A TRANSPORTATION TRAIN 5 

" True : from open attacks of Indians, robbers, and 
violent men. Not from night thieves at wayside inns. 
That was thy own lookout, with the attendants, who are 
at thy command also. And so we agreed — did we 
not?" 

Oster was silent. And while his companion waits 
for a reply to this straightforward statement, we may 
consider so startling a contrast as an armed rifleman with 
a Quaker dialect, bearing so odd a title as " Ben-Thee." 
In the spring of 17 19, an adventurer from the north of 
Ireland settled in the beautiful Cumberland Valley. He 
was one of that great human tide which flowed from 
Ulster to Penn's province, attracted by the lure of re- 
ligious liberty and the liberal terms for rich lands. His 
wife died shortly after the voyage was over, leaving him 
with an infant daughter and two small sons. Within 
a year he also died, and left without a protector save 
the God to whom he committed them, his helpless 
family of orphans. He was an utter stranger. The 
nearby settlers knew almost nothing of him and his af- 
fairs, — for he was a reserved man — but did the rude 
office of burial as best they could, and kindly received 
the children into their own homes. 

In course of time they were widely scattered. The 
farm of five hundred acres of excellent valley land re- 
verted, through default of payment apparently, to the 
sub-agents through whom it had been bought from the 
Proprietary. Rumors sped that this transaction was 
not above suspicion, and that the orphans had been 
wronged. But the neighboring farmers were sorely 
pressed by their own hard struggles to subdue the earth, 
none had time to look into the affairs of a stranger, and 
so what seemed an idle rumor died out, and the affair was 
forgotten. 

The oldest child, a boy of five or six years, was taken 
by a kindly Friend, who reared him with his own chil- 
dren as one of them. The lad's name was Benjamin, 
and he took the surname, Owen, of his foster-father. 



« QUAKER BEN 

As he grew up, the hereditary racial temperament de- 
veloped so strongly, that in spite of his Quaker teach- 
ings and surroundings and absorbings, he attached him- 
self to a Scotch-Irish hunter and trapper named Arthur 
Burbeck; and finally, with Friend Owen's consent, for 
he could not divert the lad's natural bent, took up the 
life of a frontier scout and guide. He became an expert 
in woodcraft, with the reputation of being one of the 
best shots, and surest and steadiest guides, on the 
border. 

Amid these changes, he often fell back upon the Owen 
farm in the Cumberland Valley as home, a feature com- 
forting to him, and not unpleasant to Friend Owen, who 
found himself gradually drifting out of unity with his 
strenuous Ulster neighbors, with whom Benjamin was 
an apt and willing mediator. At last the good Quaker, 
no longer able to endure his religious isolation and that 
of his family, rented his farm, removed to Philadelphia, 
and set up as a merchant, in which business his frontier 
experience and connections greatly aided him. 

Benjamin carried with him into his forest life the 
characteristic plain language to which he had been bred 
in his adopted home; and so it fell out that the soubri- 
quet " Ben-Thee," which Burbeck, his instructor in 
woodcraft, had given him for this peculiarity, passed 
current among his comrades of the forest, and finally 
came into general use, though k was varied, among many 
by the title of " Quaker Ben." 

And now, in the maturity of his young manhood, he 
was here in the course of duty and service as a ranger, 
conducting a goods train into Philadelphia for the head 
clerk and representative of a firm of traders and land 
agents. 

"So you decline to share responsibility for the loss 
of the horse and pack ? " queried Oster, taking up the 
conversation. 

" Verily ! " was the laconic and emphatic reply. 

" Have you a theory as to how the loss occurred ? " 



A TRANSPORTATION TRAIN 7 

Ben-Thee hesitated: "Yes, I have a theory; or 
rather a conjecture." 

Oster gazed backward, seemingly to look after the 
packmen, and nodded significantly toward them, as 
though to ask, " Which one ? " — then turned his eyes 
toward his companion and shot forth a keen glance as 
if to read his inmost thought. 

** However," continued Ben-Thee, who appeared not 
to notice these movements, " as I have not followed up 
my conjecture with care, and would avoid the injustice 
of hasty decision, I shall not make it known. But I fear 
we are in danger of a more serious loss, just now. Has 
thee noticed the forms moving back and forth among the 
thick trees just beyond us? They are not friendly, or 
they would not try to hide themselves, as they are doing. 
I suspect a purpose to attack us, and yon heavy clump 
jutting into the road well favors an ambush. I advise 
thee to fall back." 

" Surely, not so near the city ! " rejoined Oster. " I 
have noted nothing alarming. Perhaps you have seen 
some straggling hunters. They come out from town 
as far as this." 

Ben-Thee, not accepting this view, rode back to the 
pack-train, and telling his suspicions, bade the men draw 
together closely so that the horses might be a compact 
group. "If there's trouble ahead, we must be ready for 
it. Let Cato and the boy give particular attention to 
keeping the horses well together to prevent stampeding, 
which, if we are attacked, the assailants will doubtless 
attempt. The others may stand on the defense. Shoot 
low; to wound, not to kill. A dead man removes one 
enemy; a wounded one may dispose of three; for his 
companions will care for and probably remove him. 
Besides, it is ever ill to take life unless necessity requires 
it." 

These precautions had scarcely been taken ere they 
approached the bend in the road which Ben-Thee had 
indicated as a danger point. There was a rush from 



8 QUAKER BEN 

the thick wood of a gang of men shouting like Indians, 
and hurling a volley of stones upon the horses. Oster, 
who had insisted on riding ahead, whipped out his sword 
and attacked three of the robbers who had seized his 
bridle reins and laid hold upon him. He was speedily 
disarmed and dragged from his horse. But his assail- 
ants were driven off by Ben-Thee, who rode among them, 
and swung his big belt hatchet with such advantage that 
the bandits gave way. 

Meanwhile, at the sharp crack of the packmen's rifles 
there rose an echoing cry of pain from two of the ban- 
dits, and this was followed by a call from their leader 
to fall back and retire. In a few moments they had dis- 
appeared in the depths of the forest carrying with them 
their wounded comrades. 

Evidently they had expected to surprise the train, and 
make off with the loot without loss or special danger. 
But the vigorous resistance showed that the trainmen 
were on their guard, and that more would be lost than 
gained by further action. Retreat was therefore or- 
dered. Oster was soon upon his feet with a few bruises 
as a result of his share in the melee ; and the only other 
injury was a slight cut upon the left arm which Ben-Thee 
had received. Highly satisfied at so fortunate an escape 
from what might have been a serious affair, the packmen 
resumed their journey in even better spirits than before. 

" There," exclaimed Ben-Thee, as they approached the 
banks of the Schuylkill River, "see the quarter from 
which our assailants came!" He pointed to a brig just 
under way down stream, with full sail set before a fresh 
north-west wind. "A smuggler's ship, I daresay; for 
our assailants were seamen. It seems odd that they 
should have turned into foot-pads and have attacked us. 
Now I think of it, there were a couple of guests at the 
inn last night who seemed to be seafaring men by their 
dress and speech. Doubtless they suggested the at- 
tempt." 

They stood for a while and watched the graceful vessel 



A TRANSPORTATION TRAIN 9 

as she tacked in the narrow channel, and then addressed 
themselves to crossing the stream. Beyond the river the 
road still pursued its course through dense woods, — now 
covered with solid blocks of city houses — though here 
and there were breaks in the forest where venturesome 
settlers had marked out homes. 

A deer that lay basking in the sunny road a few rods 
before them, started up at the train's approach, and ran 
into the forest. A flock of wild turkeys scampered 
after them, their bronzed feathers glistening a moment 
in the sunlight. The boy of the party raised a shrill 
halloo, and started after the turkeys, his short rifle a-trail. 

" Back, Andy, back ! " cried Arthur Burbeck, his father, 
one of the packmen. " Bide by your trust, lad ! Would 
ye break loose in the vera teeth o' the town? You're 
in over-high sperits the mom; an' A'm feared ye'U have 
a down-settin' afore night. One niver climbs a height 
but he's sure to hit a hollow, by and by. Mind that 
now ! " 

The boy turned at this rebuke, rubbed his shocky red 
hair, picked up his coon-skin cap which had dropt off, 
and went back to his place with a crestfallen look at the 
laughter of some of his elders. 

"Ah, well!" he said. "Let them laugh that wins; 
and that's nayther you nor me, but yon fat torkeys scud- 
din' away intil the wuds. For I could 'a' got one as 
aisy as roUin' off a log! Sure, father, yerself t'ached 
me that a full hand aye brings a fair welcome. An' 
A' thocht a fat fowl would no be an ill gift at the 
inn we're gawin' til." 

" Much cry, an' lettle wool, Andy, Ah'm doubtin' ! " 
the father retorted. " It's ill braggin' a forehand, though 
it may be warse afterward. In troth, however, you're 
no so bad a shot with your wee rifle, — for a ten year 
auld ! " A commendation that helped to soothe the lad 
into his usual good temper. 



CHAPTER II 

OLD FRIENDS IN NEW LIGHTS 

At what is now Market (then High) Street and 
Tenth, the pack-train crossed a pretty run that went bab- 
bling by the way of Walnut Street and Washington 
Square, into Dodc Creek. Holding along the pleasant 
banks, whose fresh greenery was besprinkled with wild 
flowers, it turned into Chestnut Street at Sixth. 
Clark's Inn stood in the space between Fifth and Sixth 
Streets on Chestnut, opposite the new State House, since 
of glorious memory as Independence Hall. It was well 
out of town ; for the old city of Penn, even at that date, 
more than fifty years after its founding, was limited to 
the bluffs close along the Delaware. 

"A coach and horses, hey?" quoth Arthur Burbeck, 
as he noted the rather pretentious sign that swung before 
the inn door. " Coaches are scant belongin's in this 
crowd; though we're well acquent wi' Shank's mare an' 
pack horses. But if they'll tak' good care of them 
and Mr. Ben's roadsters, A'll be content." 

The riding-horses were well bestowed under the care 
of black Cato, and the pack-horses with their back- 
country cargo, under the guidance of Mr. Alfred Oster, 
went on to Front Street to unload at the shop and ware- 
house of Messrs. Windall and Bete. 

Mr. William Windall, the senior partner, was a man 
beyond middle age, of medium size, spare of flesh, with 
keen black eyes, and a rather swart visage which he had 
brought with him from the Barbados, where he had 
settled before the promise of liberal pickings in Penn's 
new colony drew him to Philadelphia. 

Mr. Olean Bete, the junior partner, had come over 



OLD FRIENDS IN NEW LIGHTS ii 

as a youth with early adventurers, and though not a pro- 
fessed Friend, affected the Friendly dress and style, 
which, indeed, was part of his stock in trade. In per- 
sonal appearance he strongly contrasted with his partner, 
being tall and stout, with blonde complexion and light 
hair. He was as smooth and deliberate in ordinary 
manner as Mr. Windall was abrupt and crisp. 

Oster, whose disturbed demeanor showed his inward 
uneasiness, formally delivered his packages, which were 
soon unloaded and carried into the store-room. Then 
he presented Ben-Thee, who had quietly awaited his 
leisure. "Mr. Benjamin Owen, gentlemen; our expert 
guide and escort." 

Ben-Thee's reception was cordial enough, for his tow- 
ering form and formidable proportions were apt to invite 
a stranger's respect. His manner was reserved, but re- 
spectful, and had a native dignity and grace which 
marked his casual relations with his fellowmen. Mean- 
while Mr. Windall went on noting the tale of the goods, 
from an invoice. 

" One bale short ! " at last he exclaimed. 

" Yes, sir," said the clerk, assuming with some effort 
an " as-a-matter-of -course " manner. " We were un- 
fortunate enough to lose one pack-horse and his load 
en route." 

" Ah ? How came that ? " snapped out Mr. Windall, 
turning his piercing black eyes upon Oster. 

" Indeed ? How came that ? " echoed Mr. Bete, some- 
what more deliberately, but no less emphatically, and 
looked at Ben-Thee. 

The guide waited for Oster's expected answer; but 
as that person seemed to have none ready, he took the 
part upon himself: " The horse and goods were stolen 
by some parties unknown, during the night, while we 
were lodged at Eagle Inn. Thee will find the account 
for my services herein," he continued, handing a paper 
to Mr. Windall. 

The merchant glanced over it. " You have charged 



12 QUAKER BEN 

us with the value of your horse ! '* he exclaimed. " Do 
you expect us to pay for that, as well as stand the loss 
of our goods?'' 

" I verily do ! " was the calm reply. " Thy agent will 
tell thee that it was agreed between us that all ordinary 
natural damage, and losses by night thievery and provi- 
dential accidents, should be borne by his firm. I agreed 
only to protect him and his goods from straggling In- 
dians and assaults of violent men, risking loss of life 
and limb therein, and to furnish horses and men for car- 
riages and service at a fixed charge. All this I have 
done. Damages to the same, not due to my manifest 
neglect or incompetence, were to be paid by his firm. 
Thy clerk and representative will confirm this." 

" Is this so ? " demanded Windall, throwing another 
keen glance at Oster. With Ben-Thee's steady gaze 
fixed upon him, the clerk dared not deny the agreement. 
But before Windall, whose scowling face showed a 
gathering storm, could speak again, Mr. Bete broke in 
with his quiet, unctuous voice : 

" Well, Friend Benjamin, — for thee seems to be of 
Friend's persuasion by thy speech — this is a matter 
for some deliberation. We will go over it carefully. 
Thee can come around to-morrow and we will talk over 
the settlement of thy account." 

"Be it so!" said the guide. "Thee will find no 
change on my part. But let me set thee right on one 
point. I am no professed Friend, though my speech does 
savor somewhat of the Meeting. I was raised from 
childhood in a Friend's family, being an orphan, and his 
manner of speaking comes natural to me." 

"Your name, I see," said Windall, looking at the 
invoice, "is Owen — Benjamin Owen." 

" That is my foster-father's surname, and I commonly 
go by it. I am not a Friend — but an Irishman, at least 
the son of one. My real name is Hannan." 

Windall started. He looked at his partner. He, too, 
had been startled by the name. It seemed to have re- 



OLD FRIENDS IN NEW LIGHTS 13 

vivcd some past associations ; and in the momentary hesi- 
tation produced thereby, Ben-Thee gravely bowed, and 
walked out of the room. 

As he slowly moved along Front Street and thence 
to Second, he was a picturesque figure to many who ob- 
served him — a model of wholesome, handsome life. 
His erect form, solid and vigorous in every fiber of the 
more than six-foot frame, was clad in the hunting shirt 
modified by American frontiersmen for forest use from 
the English peasant's belted frock. He wore doe-skin 
breeches, and his legs were encased in leather leggins. 
A powder-horn and a fur pouch hung over a shoulder, 
a hunting-knife and a hatchet were at his belt. A plain, 
broad-brimmed, three-cornered hat, such as leaders 
among Friends had kept in use, covered his light brown 
hair that, guiltless of a queue, hung in wavy masses al- 
most to his shoulders. Many a savage brave had looked 
with covetous eyes upon that splendid scalp, and wished 
that it might some day hang at his belt ! 

He left Front Street, which was a scene of busy com- 
mercial life, though so lately redeemed from the wilder- 
ness, and entered a merchant's shop on Second Street 
near Dock. The apprentice-clerk, who received him, 
was not a little startled at the stalwart armed figure 
that stalked into the store and asked if the master were 
in. He led the visitor into a little ofpce at the rear of 
the place, and as he lingered to catch some fragments of 
the interview, he was surprised beyond measure to see 
the sedate merchant rise from his chair with an alacrity 
that belied his advanced years, hasten with a radiant 
face to meet the scout, and clasp his outreached hand 
with both of his own. 

" Benjamin, my dear boy, is this indeed thee? " 

" It is I, indeed, Father Owen ; fresh from the valley 
with a pack-train; and thee can't complain that there 
isn't enough of me." 

" Verily, my son ! What a monster thee has grown 
to be ! ' Thee has not been to the house yet ? No ? 



14 QUAKER BEN 

Lydia and the children will be delighted to see thee! 
And so am I, so am I! Sit down, sit down! — Thee 
need not wait, Obadiah, close the door; thee may call 
me if needed. — Sit thee down, man, and tell me the 
news of the valley. How thee has grown ! '' 

The good Quaker seated himself opposite his adopted 
son, and gazed fondly and fixedly upon him. Then he 
plied him with questions about friends and affairs in 
the valley, about himself and his own affairs, until quite 
satisfied. He listened quietly to the account of the 
interview with Windall and Bete, and remarked : 

" Thee will need to have all thy wits about thee ; and 
mayhap to consult a bit with me. But thee will come 
to stay with us. Surely, surely!" — as Ben-Thee shook 
his head — "Lydia will expect it. Thee must not say 
nay!" 

" No, it may not be — not now, at least. The horses 
and men are at the inn, and I must be there to look 
after them. But I will see Mother Owen and the family 
directly. And now, I have a little business with thee. 
Here is the yearly rent for thy farm, which Robinson 
took occasion to send by me. See that it is correct." 

The tale was right, and the two parted. But the 
good merchant could not settle down to business; and 
after sundry trials, closed his desk, and leaving word 
that he would not be back till after dinner, hastened to 
his Spruce Street home to tell the news. 

Ben-Thee had anticipated him. Having left his 
weapons at the inn, and looked after the horses and men, 
who were all doing well, he could not restrain the desire 
to see the friends and companions of his childhood; and 
Friend Owen found him at the house, where he had just 
arrived. He was surrounded by the family, and in the 
midst of the flurry and tongue-clamor that such an event 
is wont to evoke. 

It was a charming scene. The restraints of formal 
habits which commonly fettered a Friend's household 
at that period, before strangers, were quite broken down. 



OLD FRIENDS IN NEW LIGHTS 15 

The onrush of natural feeling after a long separation 

from one who had been held as brother and child, had 

now full play and course. Indeed, among the younger 

members of this family, born after his coming to it, 

Ben-Thee was counted a brother as truly as any other 

child. All had grown up together; and as a child and 

brother. Mother Owen and the two girls present, Phoebe 

and Grace, received Ben-Thee. The motherly embrace; 

the sisterly kisses; the fond hanging about his person, 

fingering this article and that of his strange equipment 

with half-mocking and half-curious interest; running 

fair hands caressingly through his shock of silky hair; 

the volley of questions and rattling replies; the laughter 

and merry comment, the swift interchange of news and 

the wondering exclamations; now one, now two, now 

three chiming in at once — this was indeed a comely 

and heart-stirring scene! For nature is nature, in 

secular or Quaker; and innocent high spirits will break 

bounds, and frisk and play beneath plain drab gowns 

and white folders, as well as under gay silk robes and 

jeweled necks. 

" But where is Dorothy ? " Ben-Thee asked, when the 
first gush of emotion had somewhat abated. 

" She has just run over to see Rhoda Reagan, one 
of her nearby familiars, and will soon return," said 
Mother Lydia. 

Dorothy was the daughter nearest his own age, and 
the feeling of kinship and comradeship with her had al- 
ways been especially warm and strong. The interchange 
of pleasant and loving chatter ran on again until a 
click at the door and a light tread in the little hallway 
announced the coming of the absent one. 

" There's Dorothy ! " cried Grace and Phoebe in 
chorus, and therewith the maiden entered. She started 
back at the vision that met her, and in her surprise 
dropped a bunch of wild flowers she had plucked as she 
passed along. Her face for a moment paled with the 
shock, and then reddened under the returning flush. 



i6 QUAKER BEN 

Bcn-Thce stepped toward her eagerly and picked up 
the fallen flowers; but instead of clasping her in his 
arms, as he had done with the others, and greeting her 
with a hearty kiss, as he had purposed, he paused and 
took (all that he was offered) — the maid's outreached 
hand. It was a warm pressure that welcomed him, very 
warm! And his sister's eyes were beaming with affec- 
tion and her cheek was wet with tears ; but why had she 
not kissed him? 

The query had no time for lodgment. For, if any of 
the family had noticed this by-play and interchange of 
embarrassed emotions, it made but light impression, and 
the sweet gayety of old-time loves renewed, at once broke 
out again. 

Yet Dorothy seemed unwontedly demure, and more 
than once Ben-Thee found his eyes wandering to her 
face, with an inward wondering: "How she has 
changed! Those large hazel eyes peering beneath the 
broad smooth brow; the brown hair parted smoothly 
over the even oval of the rounded dome of the head, 
and laid in a thick braided roll at the back ! The cheeks, 
pink as the wild rose, on a skin as clear and smooth as 
a sea-shell's coil, but with just a touch of brunette 
amber! Those rosy lips; teeth white as milk; and dim- 
ples in chin and cheek alike! Who would have thought 
my little sister and playmate would have turned out such 
a beauty ! '* 

But that was the judgment of brotherly kindness, for 
Dorothy was surely not what experts would call a beauty. 
Yet, that her face was exceedingly comely, and under 
the play of thought and feeling might even be called 
handsome, no one could well doubt. As to form and 
carriage, which are so large a factor in personal comeli- 
ness, — if grace and ease of quiet pose, and that lissome 
and vigorous and joyous action which comes naturally 
from perfect health and wholesome exercise in the open 
air; and the muscular freedom of well fitting but un- 
hampering dress; and simple food, and healthful rest and 



OLD FRIENDS IN NEW LIGHTS 17 

habits, and wise mothering, — if all this might win the 
palm of good looks, then might Dorothy Owen have de- 
served it. Surely so, if Ben-Thee were arbiter. 

His partiality was natural; for although Grace and 
Phoebe were both fair maidens, and counted by many 
fairer than Dorothy, the latter had been playmate and 
companion in those happy childhood days on the valley 
farm; and that is a bond which rarely fails to draw 
closely, and which strengthens with gathering years. 

Now the time drew near for the mid-day meal, and 
Mother Lydia and Dorothy must leave to prepare for 
it. Soon the boys began to drop in — Paul, the oldest, 
and Gains next, and Marcus the youngest, — and the 
gay greetings and lively clatter of questions and answers 
were renewed, only interrupted by the call to dinner. 
It was a joyous repast, though the fare was frugal and 
the wine was spare. For the flow and blending of happy 
and innocent spirits are the most savory sauce of a 
family meal, be the viands what they may. 



CHAPTER III 

WILLIAM PENN's SON AND SUCCESSOR 

When Ben-Thee called on Windall and Bete, on the 
day following his interview, he found them in a different 
mood from that in which he had left them. He had 
girded his mind for a stormy meeting, judging by the 
threatening signs of the day before. But something had 
changed the temperamental atmosphere. Mr. Windall 
received him smilingly; Mr. Bete with more than usual 
effusiveness. 

" Good morning, Mr. Owen ! " said Windall, extend- 
ing his hand. " Good morning, Mr. Owen ! " echoed 
Mr. Bete, extending both hands. The real name as re- 
vealed by Ben-Thee, had apparently left no impression 
on their minds. 

"We have gone over your accounts," began Mr. 
Windall, when all were seated, " and find them correct. 
We have also been told of your feat in driving away 
a gang of pirates and protecting our goods from being 
plundered. As to the question between us on the cost 
of the missing horse, we have concluded to meet your 
views. We will pay for the lost animal, as our agent 
seems to think that was the agreement, and we wish 
to deal fairly and honorably with all men." 

"That's it!" ejaculated the junior partner. "Fair 
and honorable! — and just! Our firm wishes to be 
known as that ! " 

" Here is your money," continued Mr. Windall. 
" You will find the count correct, I think. But we would 
like to have it understood between us that should the 
horse be recovered hereafter at any time, his cost shall 
be refunded." 



WILLIAM PENN^S SON 19 

"Certainly, sir!" said Ben-Thee. "That would be 
but common honesty! The duty of restitution is recog- 
nized by all honorable men/' 

"By all honorable men! Yes, yes!" ejaculated Mr. 
Bete. 

" That is agreed, then. But it is not quite all. We 
■would like very much, and would take it as a great 
favor — !" 

" A great favor, indeed ! " interjected the parenthetical 
Mr. Bete, whose characteristic asides Mr. Windall rarely 
noticed, treating them rather as negligible soliloquies. 
He now went on with his own remarks. 

"If you would use the great skill which our Mr. Oster 
tells us you are reputed to have in scouting, to ferret 
out the thief or thieves. We have stronger reasons than 
the mere value of the horse and pack for wishing this. 
It is not the first instance of mysterious loss of this sort 
which we and other merchants have lately experienced. 
We would like you to run down the robbers, and help us 
to break up the gang, for a gang we suspect there is. 
What say you ? Have you any theory or suspicions that 
might lead you to trace the criminals? Would you un- 
dertake this affair?" 

Ben-Thee hesitated. He looked at his interrogator 
carefully and caught his keen glance riveted upon him. 
He turned to Mr. Bete and thought that he noticed his 
eyes in the stage of quick transition from cunning pene- 
tration back to soft friendliness, their habitual cast. It 
appeared a perfectly frank and proper request; yet some- 
how he suspected an occult purpose. 

"You should know, gentlemen," at last he replied, 
" that such a search as you purpose might require much 
time and trouble and expense, which I am not now pre- 
pared to give it ; certainly not at my own charges. How- 
ever, I will say that I did give some little attention to 
the matter, and even made a few investigations on the 
morning after the robbery. But your agent, thinking it 
important to reach Philadelphia promptly, was anxious 



20 QUAKER BEN 

to push on, and not add to the loss by waste of time 
in unpromising research. My scant investigations, 
therefore, led me to no conclusion, and as I have already 
told Mr. Oster, not even to a suspicion that it would be 
fair or right to mention." 

"Were your suspicions directed toward any of your 
employes?" Mr. Windall asked, speaking up abruptly 
and sharply, somewhat like a cross-questioning lawyer 
with a reluctant witness. 

Ben-Thee had not forgotten his foster-father's warn- 
ing to keep his wits about him, and answered quite as 
sharply, " I have positively no information to give you. 
But I pronlise you, gentlemen, that if I fall upon any- 
thing that justifies me in communicating with you, I 
shall do so." 

He rose to retire. "One moment, please!" said Mr. 
Windall. " We have been highly satisfied with the way 
in which you have conducted our business; save the 
matter of the lost horse and pack, now well settled, we 
think. We would like to throw a bit of good business 
in your way. Our Proprietary, Mr. Thomas Penn, yes- 
terday asked us — " 

" One of our most valued patrons ! " interposed Mr. 
Bete. 

" — ^If we could recommend to him two or three 
frontiersmen of athletic habits and skilled in forest lore, 
for some special service. He is also wanting a couple 
of good hunting horses, — for he is fond of riding to 
the hounds — and he has heard through the host of 
Clark's Inn, that you have one or two that would 
probably suit him. I have arranged for you to meet 
him, if convenient to you, at his office this morning. 
Could you manage to call at eleven o'clock ? " 

Ben-Thee readily consented. Mr. Windall agreed to 
meet him at the appointed time, to present him to Mr. 
Penn. As an hour or more remained ere the hour 
fixed to meet the Proprietary, he dropped in upon his 
foster-father at the office and informed him in de- 



WILLIAM PENN'S SON 21 

tail of the fortunate issue of the morning's business. 

"Thee is to be congratulated, I think," said Mr. 
Owen, " and thee has acted discreetly. But now that thee 
is about to visit Thomas Penn, it seems fit that I should 
tell thee something about him. It may help thee if thee 
knows him with whom thee has to do. 

"Thomas Penn is not such a man as was his venerated 
father, our beloved Founder. He is no longer in fel- 
lowship with Friends, but has cast his lot with the 
Church of England. That would not be. a matter to 
speak of, were he a worthy churchman. But his con- 
duct is a sore grief to the brethren and true friends of 
William Penn. 

"He is still a comparatively young man, not above 
thirty-six or thirty-seven, but old enough to have gained 
discretion and to have put away the excesses of youthful 
spirits. His breaches of personal purity give a sad ex- 
ample in one of his high station to youth who are prone 
to chambering and wantonness. He is a shrewd and 
competent man of business, no doubt; active and diligent 
in worldly affairs. But, in his lust for land and money, 
he is tempted to over-grasping, and designs that reach 
beyond the bounds of honor and honesty. Nor does 
he show that public spirit, and generous regard for the 
people and welfare of the province, that becomes one 
in his exalted office. 

" But what gives us most concern, is that he so often 
eschews the fair and wise principles of dealing with the 
natives, upon which his father founded our province. 
He turns a deaf ear to the just complaints of the Indians 
concerning the encroachments of settlers upon their 
lands, and the sale of large tracts that were never in- 
cluded in any treaty with the original Proprietor, and 
have never been purchased or ceded by the lawful owners. 

** Leading Friends and other thoughtful men in our 
city have watched these things with troubled hearts, 
doubting whereunto they may grow. I fear that some 
Friends of influence have been carried away by undue 



22 QUAKER BEN 

regard for the high name of our Founder, and the 
honorable estate of his successors, contrary to the sim- 
pHcity of Friends, and their protest against carnal self- 
seeking." 

This was a long speech for Friend Owen, and carried 
away by the impulse of grief, and righteous indignation, 
and high aspiration, and kindly recollections of better 
days under his illustrious friend the Founder, he had 
dropped into the rapt manner into which the Quaker 
preacher was apt to fall. 

" But, enough ! " added Father Owen, resuming his 
natural tones; "whatsoever dealings Thomas Penn may 
have with thee, thou wilt do him no injustice and wilt 
get none, by being on thy guard. It is strange thee thus 
should have been thrown in his way. It may well lead 
to thy advancement and higher prosperity; or it may 
lay temptation in thy path which I trust thee is strong 
enough in righteousness and honor to meet as becomes 
thy manhood, and, I hope that I may say without vanity, 
thy training." 

He bowed his head for a moment or two as if in 
silent worship. Ben-Thee also bowed, and thus the two 
men, the young and the old, the man of peace and the 
man whose profession was arms, engaged together in 
that "silent pause" so impressive in the devotions of 
earnest Friends. It seemed like the benediction of a 
prophet and a parent to the young man, as he left the 
merchant's little back office. The noblest impulses of 
his nature had been stirred by this colloquy; and the 
free monologue of his foster-father had so lifted his 
thoughts into the atmosphere of high principles and pur- 
poses, that he was well toned for any assault upon them 
that was likely to be made. 

He found Mr. Windall at the Proprietary's office 
promptly at eleven o'clock, and after a brief delay was 
presented. The utter lack of sympathy, even of cour- 
tesy, which marked the reception of a respectable visitor 
who was engaged with Mr. Penn when Ben-Thee en- 



WILLIAM PENN'S SON 23 

tered, was not a promising forecast of his own inter- 
view. But he was agreeably disappointed; for Thomas 
Penn, although he had just given a display of the ordi- 
nary manners which had gone far to make him unpop- 
ular, knew well how to practice the graces of courtesy 
and affability when they served his pleasure or advan- 
tage, and at his first greeting Ben-Thee plainly pleased 
him. 

There was somewhat in the tall, strong, erect figure 
before him, with his massive head, clear, honest, blue 
eyes, flowing locks, clean-cut visage, and martial port, 
with every trace of pugnacity screened by his frank 
and modest bearing, that won the great man's approba- 
tion. Perhaps, unconsciously the young scout awakened 
in Thomas Penn a responsive touch of the sentiments 
that animated him. 

Mr. Windall having presented Ben-Thee, immediately 
retired, and the Proprietary invited him to be seated. 
Then in a frank and engaging way he began to talk 
about the life of the backwoods, deftly drawing out his 
visitor's love and knowledge of the frontier, its pursuits 
and dangers, and especially its sports. 

" Are you fond of hunting? " 

"Yes; but one loses his zest for it, when it comes 
in the way of business; and to secure peltry for the 
market is more or less a business with me. Deer are 
yet too plentiful to give much excitement to their chase. 
But hunting bears and panthers is not without danger, 
and so have relish to a keen sportsman." 

" I have done little at hunting the larger game," the 
Proprietary said, " but would like it sometime under the 
guidance of such an expert forester as yourself. Yet 
I have something of the English gentleman's love of fox- 
hunting. Have you ever ridden to the hounds? " 

" No ; I have had little leisure for that sort of sport, 
and must confess that I and my hunters take foxes and 
beavers by the ignoble method of trapping." 

"Would you like to join me and my friends on my 



24 QUAKER BEN 

manor in Bucks County in a ride, and see my horses 
and hounds ? We are going out to-morrow morning and 
would be gratified to have you with us. By the way, 
I have heard that you have brought to Philadelphia some 
fijie riding horses. I am in need of one or two, and 
perhaps you would be willing to part with one? " 

" Yes, I am rather proud of my horses, and think them 
a fine breed; at least for my own purposes. But they 
have not been trained to the hounds, and that might be a 
fatal defect." 

"Not at all," Mr. Penn replied. "If a horse has 
speed and spirit and bottom, he can soon be trained. 
Most horses take naturally to the sport. But I am 
wondering at your care for horses! Is there not small 
use for them in the backwoods? I have fancied there 
would be greater call for expert footmen than for expert 
horsemen there P' 

" On the contrary," Ben-Thee urged, " there is great 
use for horses on the frontier; for hunting, for travel- 
ing, for pack-trains, for farm service, for the use of 
the women who ride alone or on pillions behind the 
men. And they are more available than appears at 
first thought, for the forests are kept fairly open by the 
Indians, who occasionally burn out the dense under- 
growth. But the ranger must have good use of his 
legs also, for much of his work is done with them, and 
often with them alone." 

" Are you fond of walking? " asked Mr. Penn. 

" Yes, I count that the noblest exercise. Horseback 
riding comes next, perhaps; though canoeing is highly 
enjoyable, a craft in which red men are expert. But 
when walking, the whole realm of nature is at one's 
command; — the wild flower on the edge of the trail; 
the spider's dainty web stretched across it; the bird, — 
nesting in the bush, or whistling from a bare limb on 
a tree-top; the ants* thatched dome on the hillside — 
everything small and great one can note, pausing there- 
for, and loitering at will. Yes, I love walking best, not 



WILLIAM PENN'S SON 25 

only for the wholesome exercise, but for the disclosures 
that come therewith in the whole field of nature ! " 

" Doubtless," the Proprietary observed, " your views 
are correct, in the main. But my own training and mode 
of life in England has made such exercise quite unsat- 
isfactory here. I must keep to riding for my recreation. 
But I see how a ranger's life would develop the muscles 
and harden the whole system, like the Olympic games of 
the ancient Greeks. Do you think our modern frontier 
athletes could have competed on even terms with those 
Olympian heroes? Absurd, that, perhaps 1 Do you 
count yourself an expert in walking? What physical 
effect has your wood-craft and wild life had upon you? 
You certainly look stalwart enough ! " And Thomas 
Penn gazed admiringly upon Ben-Thee's finely molded 
physique. 

" No ; I do not hold myself an expert footman," 
Ben-Thee replied, "though I might hold my own on 
a long march with most foresters. But I could hardly 
cope with one of the pack-men I have brought with me. 
He is a famous land-louper; and few could equal him 
on a forest tramp. Indeed, on the frontier he goes by 
the name of Louper Jan." 

" Ah ! by the way — " Mr. Penn turned to a gentle- 
man who sat at a table in another part of the office, en- 
gaged in drawing a large map of Pennsylvania. " Mr. 
Scull, do you remember the name of the scout who was 
with you in your engineering service two or three years 
ago, and who boasted so of his pedestrian feats? " 

" Do you mean Marshall ? " 

" Ay ! that is it ! Edward Marshall is the name. Do 
you remember how far Marshall could walk in a day?" 

" About forty miles ! " Mr. Scull answered. 

" Do you think that a fair stent for a vigorous wood- 
man? " — turning to Ben-Thee. 

" That would depend upon the condition of the trail," 
was the reply, — " whether rough or smooth, open or 
brushy, firm or swampy, level or mountainous. But, even 



26 QUAKER BEN 

woods and weather being favorable, forty miles a day 
would be far more than an average man's average daily 
march over an ordinary forest trail. Few could do as 
well, except under high pressure and favoring condi- 
tions, where some might do better." 

Here the venerable James Logan, then acting Gov- 
ernor of the Province, interrupted the interview, and 
called the Proprietary to him on some matter of pres- 
sing business. This gave Ben-Thee an occasion to retire. 
As he left the office, Mr. Penn gave him a cordial 
good-morning, and bade him not forget the engagement 
to ride to the hounds with him, and to bring .with him 
his riding horses, which he would like to see and try. 
"Farewell, till then!" 

Could this affable and open-hearted gentleman be the 
same person that Father Owen had pictured to him? 
Could prejudice go so far to blind the judgment of one 
of the wisest, kindest and best of men? Ben-Thee won- 
dered! 



CHAPTER IV 

A MEETING AT PENNSBURY 

William Penn came to America in October, 1682, on 
his " Holy Experiment " as a bona fide settler. He pur- 
posed to make Pennsylvania his home, to unite his life 
and destiny with the colony, and have his family grow up 
with it. 

He chose for his home-manor a beautiful site in the 
county of Bucks (one of Penn's three original countfes), 
some miles distant from Philadelphia, and planned his 
house on the Delaware River bank. He called the place 
" Pennsbury," and began at once to give it the features of 
an English seat. 

Before his second visit to Pennsylvania, he sent on 
gardeners and mechanics to carry out his plans, and his 
letters to his agents in Philadelphia give full and inter- 
esting directions covering details as to the building, the 
furniture, the garden and grounds, and landscape effects. 
These clearly reveal that he was infected with that en- 
thusiasm for home-making which so many persons have 
felt in planning and erecting their own houses, and 
laying out lawn and orchard, walks and drive, and plant- 
ing shrubs and trees. 

To many of the colonists this seemed an untoward 
fancy, as they thought the Proprietary should have made 
his permanent residence in town, thus sharing more inti- 
mately the fortunes of his associates. But the power 
of old ideas and habits was strong upon him. His love 
of rural life was almost a passion. So the alluring 
dream of " my pleasure, poor Pennsbury," as he called 
it, went on. For, after all, it was little more than a 
dream. As one of his letters to his secretary and ad- 



28 QUAKER BEN 

jutant James Logan shows, his wife and daughter 
Letitia, had an invincible dislike to colonial life, and 
could not be induced to make Pennsylvania their perma- 
nent home. Indeed, all Penn's children appear to have 
shared this feeling. 

So it befell that Pennsbury was practically abandoned 
as the Proprietary " palace." It ceased to be a country 
home for the Penns, and in the days of Thomas Penn, 
was held only as a sort of hunting lodge, his residence 
being in the " Governor's House " in town. But there 
he kept his horses and hounds; and there appears to 
have been the residence of his " occasional companion," 
Lady Jenks. And there, on the morning after his inter- 
view with Ben-Thee, the two men again met. 

Ben-Thee rode his big bay mare " Nelly," and Arthur 
Burbeck came with him on the spirited sorrel horse 
" Major," that had been Mr. Oster's mount on the 
journey from the Cumberland Valley. His military ac- 
couterments, except his hunting-knife, Ben-Thee had laid 
aside. For his broad-brimmed hat he had substituted 
a rimless riding cap of beaver-fur, as more fitting for 
the sport in hand. He was a little more carefully dressed 
than usual; a silk tie was knotted in the broad, loose 
collar of his hunting-shirt, and his leggins were new, 
and fringed and ornamented, the gift of an Indian friend, 
as were his high, beaded moccasins. 

As he rode up to the entrance with Arthur, Thomas 
Penn was already in the saddle. A small pack of 
hounds, bred from imported English animals brought 
over by his oldest brother, William, were held in leash 
by two keepers and were keen for the day's hunt. 
Penn himself wore an English riding-suit of the period, 
and several of the gentlemen who were wont to 
share his sports and revels were grouped around him, 
similarly clad. 

In the midst of the greetings and presentations, a 
lady walked down the stone steps of the handsome 
porch, and joined the party. She was robed in a 



A MEETING AT PENNSBURY 29 

woman's riding-habit then fashionable — a beaver hat 
in the style of a gentleman's top-hat, but lower, around 
which was looped a veil with floating ends ; a short coat 
and waist-coat, and the long riding-skirt intended to 
fall over the feet, and which, as she walked, she held 
up gracefully around her body. It was the waist and 
head-covering of this habit that had given this lady the 
reputation among colonists ignorant of the fashions, of 
** riding about in men's clothes." 

" My friend. Lady Jenks,-;- Mr. Owen! " was Thomas 
Penn's brief introduction. Ben-Thee was not a little 
surprised to see this handsome and distinguished look- 
ing woman in the hunting party, and apparently at home 
in the house, and made his obeisance with some con- 
fusion, but with due deference. 

" Lady Jenks would like to try your sorrel horse, 
Major, Mr. Owen. It is for her use that I particularly 
designed him, if he suits. Have you any objection to 
her mounting him for part of the chase? " 

"None at all. I shall esteem it an honor," was the 
courteous reply. " But I fear the lady may find him 
somewhat unmanageable. He has been trained for the 
ruder sex, and has never been backed by woman. But," 
— turning to the lady — "if thee ventures to try him, 
thee is welcome." 

He dismounted, and bidding Arthur take charge of 
Nelly, stood by Major until the lady's saddle was trans- 
ferred from her own mount to the horse's back. Mean- 
while Lady Jenks exchanged pleasant greetings with 
Ben-Thee, whose unusual hunting-dj'ess and general ap- 
pearance interested her. She had a kind word for Arthur 
Burbeck, who had echoed Ben-Thee's anxiety about 
Major's behavior. 

" Do not fear for rtie ! " she exclaimed with a bright 
smile. " I shall ride him easily, I dare say ! " 

"Sure, my ledy!" Arthur replied. "Yet they say 
one had better not whustle 'til he is out of the woods; 
though troth, it's jist gettin' intil the woods we are ! If 



30 QUAKER BEN 

Major disappoints ye, he'll well desarve a batein', which 
I belave he's niver yet had; for Mr. Ben is aye dingin' 
it intil us that a marciful man is marciful to his bastes. 
But I'll trust Major! He's sich a beauty himsel' that 
he ought to have due respect for beauty whan he sees 
it. Mind that, now, Major! Remember that beauty is 
as beauty does ; an' if you disgrace your trainin' the daay, 
ye'll give us all a shamed face. Go softly now, laddie, 
for ye're to carry fair freight ! " 

" Gramercy, good man ! I did not know you grew 
courtiers in the backwoods! Your tongue savors of 
Scotland; but your blarneying words betray the Irish- 
man ! " A slight burr in her own speech, softened by 
English usage, bespoke a Scotch descent. " I'm ready 
to mount now ! " she added, turning to Ben-Thee. 

" Aye," interjected Arthur who had the freedom of a 
privileged employe and companion, "a bonnie bride is 
soon busket ! An' that's both Scotch and Irish, my ledy ! 
— as I am mysel' ! " 

The blood mounted to the lady's cheeks, though seem- 
ingly she was not displeased at the compliment, which 
came with a heartiness that marked it as genuine. Per- 
haps the proverb and the dialect together had awakened 
associations of bright and better days! She raised a 
dainty foot which Ben-Thee took upon his hand (in 
lieu of an upping-block), and lifted her easily into her 
seat. Then he deftly adjusted her riding-skirt and 
placed the reins in her hand. 

Lady Jenks beamed upon him a glance that showed 
her an adept in the arts of coquetry. Certainly, 
Arthur's undisguised compliment was merited by beauty, 
grace and high accomplishments, which would have won 
applause in any society. 

Thomas Penn now approached, and saying that they 
were about to set out, asked Ben-Thee to accompany 
Lady Jenks for part of the course, until she had got the 
new horse well in hand, as Major would be apt to go 
more quietly with his old companion by his side. He 



A MEETING AT PENNSBURY 31 

sounded a few notes on the horn swung over his shoul- 
der, and away went the merry company pell-mell, horses 
and hounds, men and lady. 

Over the lady and her new mount there need have been 
no anxiety, for her mastery of Major was complete from 
the start; and he, as if conscious of the fair burthen 
that he carried, bore himself with due courtesy as well 
as spirit. Are not horses capable of such a sentiment 
as courtesy? Something like it surely we see in the for- 
bearance and tenderness so often shown by family dogs 
towards very young children. And horses have close 
rank to dogs. 

Noting how things went, Ben-Thee expressed his satis- 
faction, and congratulated the lady on her good horse- 
manship. " I am well used to such exercise," was the 
reply. " But my credit is less with an animal to ride 
of such gait and spirit as your Major. He is no back- 
woods bumpkin, but a blooded courtier of the finest 
breed ! Hey, good fellow ? " She stooped and patted 
the shining coat of Major's neck. 

Now the horn sounded a merry mot, the riders' view 
halloo rose cheerily, and the hounds gave tongue. Look ! 
Away in the open, perched on a big fallen oak-trunk, 
was Reynard the fox, looking back at the coming caval- 
cade. Did he really enjoy the excitement, as foxes are 
said to do? Was his curiosity so strongly stimulated, 
that he ventured the risk of capture, to indulge it? Had 
heredity not yet wrought in this creature of the wild the 
sense that the herd of whooping, baying, horn-blow- 
ing animals, so strange in a New World forest, meant 
harm to him? Or, was he simply taking the measure 
of the coming event, and devising some foxy stratagem 
to thwart the designs against him? 

His cogitations and observations, whatever they may 
have been, were soon done. He was off with a mighty 
bound into a bosky clump, and away and away through 
the wood. Away, too, leaped the hounds,, away galloped 
the horsemen, and away flew Lady Jenks, putting Major 



32 QUAKER BEN 

to his highest speed. 

" A reckless rider ! " muttered Ben-Thee, whose mare 
could not vie with Major in fleetness. He gradually 
dropped behind in the chase. Indeed, he was not a keen 
sportsman after that kind of game, though he enjoyed 
the wild run a-horseback. " But," — so ran his thoughts 
— "is this a manly sport? — a dozen men and horses 
and as many hounds all hard bent after the life of one 
fox? For that matter, are any sports manly that have 
for their end simply the harrying of helpless animals, 
and whose pleasure-giving quality rests solely on the 
pains of the inferior creatures?" 

Thus meditating, he relaxed his horse's pace. The 
sound of the chase died away in the distance. He fol- 
lowed leisurely, and ere long the faint notes of a French 
horn came to him through the sunny open, subdued 
by distance and intervening objects. A pleasant sound! 
Yet there is a strain of sadness therein as it floats in 
from afar. It stirs up that seemingly contradictory mix- 
ture of sentiment, a pleasure tinged with pain, which 
makes the emotion more exquisite; as one mingles the 
sweet of a confection with bitter or acid elements, as 
a foil which brings it out more vividly. Sorrow always 
hurts; sadness is a compound emotion, a pleasant pain. 

Ere long, Thomas Penn appeared, and seeing Ben- 
Thee, as he stood on a swelling knoll in the full sun- 
light, rode toward him. 

" You are not a keen sportsman, I fear? " he remarked. 
"At least, you were not in at the death." 

" No, I confess I lack enthusiasm in pursuit of such 
small game; although I feel and appreciate the in- 
fluence of the society and the surroundings, and the 
gallop in the open air, which, with its ancient traditions 
and associations, are perhaps the chief elements of pleas- 
ure in fox-hunting. But was thee in at the death ? Thee 
does not carry the brush, I see." 

"The prize went to the lady; thanks to your superb 
nag, as well as her fine riding. But we are well met 



A MEETING AT PENNSBURY 33 

here. I have a matter for your private ear, which I 
wish to impart. Let us jog on together, and leave the 
others to follow; or if they so choose, to beat up an- 
other fox, as I believe they have planned, for there is 
no lack of such game on the manor." 



CHAPTER V 

THE FOX TURNS HUNTER AND MISSES THE GAME 

" You must know," the Proprietary began, " that my 
father adopted the principle that, in settling up our prov- 
ince, no lands bestowed upon him by our sovereign should 
be conveyed to purchasers without first having been 
bought from the Indians, and their right thereto thus 
extinguished. In accordance with this policy, several 
treaties were made and duly signed by both parties. 
Among these was one made in 1686 between William 
Penn and the chiefs of the Delawares, which granted 
or confirmed the titles to certain lands lying to the north 
and west of Philadelphia. About this some misunder- 
standing has arisen which I deem important to have 
settled. 

" In the original deed of 1686 the boundaries of the 
tract in question were described in general terms as 
to be extended from the Neshaminy Creek back into 
the woods as far as a man can go in one day and a 
half, and thence in a line to the Delaware River. 

" Now, in carrying out this agreement it is plain that 
the extent of lands thus granted must depend largely 
upon the physical ability of the person or persons em- 
ployed to walk the purchase. A day and a half walk 
of an old and ailing man would be a far different matter 
from that of a strong and active one. And as between 
two men of equal vigor, the results would vary much, 
according to their experience and expertness as footmen. 
The space covered by a rapid and seasoned forester, 
thoroughly used to tramping the woods, would be con- 
siderably greater. 

"You will therefore see that it is highly to my in- 



i 



I 



THE FOX TURNS HUNTER .35 

terest that when the boundaries of the aforesaid treaty 
come to be marked out, in the manner agreed upon, 
the person or persons appointed to walk the day-and- 
a-half determining line, should be men who can make 
the very best record possible as footmen. 

" To come now at once to the point. It has occurred to 
me that you or one of your companions would be a most 
available person for my interests. Will you consent to 
act for me in walking the purchase? I have fixed as 
the honorarium for such service 500 acres of the best 
land in the purchase or elsewhere. What say you ? " 

As Thomas Penn gradually developed his scheme, Ben- 
Thee's temper began to wax warmer and warmer. He 
recalled the interview of the day before, and its intent 
and bearings now began to appear. It flashed upon his 
mind that the whole affair had been planned to trap 
him into a false position. Yet it had been done so 
artfully, one remark leading to another with such deftly 
cloaked simplicity, that he had not suspected the real 
trend thereof. Now he saw ! All the time, he was be- 
ing sounded, pumped, weighed by Thomas Penn ! And 
his conclusion was — this proposal! What could the 
Proprietary have seen in him to encourage such an esti- 
mate of his character? His cheeks burned at the thought 
of it! 

He was fairly well acquainted with the ideas and 
modes of speech and public action of the Indians, and 
at once inferred what would be their view of the situa- 
tion. While the Proprietary was slowly unfolding his 
plan and approaching the final question, Ben-Thee had 
already made up his mind that the Penns were hatch- 
ing a vast fraud by putting an unfair construction upon 
" the Walking Purchase Treaty." 

He was grieved that such a wrong should be designed. 
He was indignant that he should have been so far mis- 
judged by Thomas Penn as to suppose that he, Ben-Thee, 
could become a willing tool in his hands to carry out the 
fraud. Yet as the Proprietary went on, he had time 



36 QUAKER BEN 

to subdue his resentment so far as to answer with cool- 
ness and some deliberation, though his voice trembled 
with the intensity of his emotion and suppressed anger. 

"Thomas Penn, thee has mistaken thy man! My 
vocation as forest ranger carries no function of a 
common hireling pedestrian, such as thee calls for. But 
beyond that, which is a small matter of offense, thee has 
asked me to do what no just and honorable man ought 
to ask or accept." 

There was a deep pause. The pleasant smile that had 
played about the Proprietary's lips and eyes, suddenly 
darkened into a frown. His face flushed with anger. 
" Stop! " he cried. " You are insulting! What have I 
said that could justify such strong words? Beware! 
You are making a serious charge. I have the power 

— do not tempt me to assert it ! " 

" I fear neither thee, nor thy friends. No power can 
long prevail against the truth. Listen ! " And there 
was that of commanding authority in Ben-Thee's tone 
and bearing that compelled even the proud Proprietary to 
attend. " Thee asks what thee has done. I will tell 
thee. The treaty known as the Walking Purchase calls 
for a boundary line to be measured by a day-and-a-half 's- 
walk. I know the figurative language of the Indians, 
and doubtless thee is not ignorant. They do not yet un- 
derstand our exact engineering methods and terms. 
They speak in figures drawn from their daily life and 
experience. Yet in forms well understood among them 

— almost as well understood as our alphabet or multi- 
plication table, or foot-rule — they convey facts and 
ideas with substantial correctness. 

" ' A day's walk,' ' as far as a man can go in a day,' 
are phrases that to an Indian have a significance almost 
as fixed and definite as * a mile ' or * ten miles ' or 
* twenty miles' to us. It means an ordinary average 
man's ordinary average walk during an ordinary average 
day of ordinary travel. So they all have understood it. 

**What does thee propose? To put on the trail a 



THE FOX TURNS HUNTER 37 

seasoned and expert walker. To spur him by a large 
reward to his utmost exertion. To walk, perhaps to 
run, or half-run the whole course under the highest 
stimulus, and thus cover a distance probably twice as 
great as that of an ordinary traveling gait Was that 
the intention of thy father, William Penn? Was that 
the intention of the chiefs who signed the Walking Pur- 
chase Treaty? No, no! Thy plan, disguise it as thee 
may, is unfair, unjust, fraudulent, and so will be held 
by every honest native and every honest white man. 

" Has thee thought of what is like to follow should 
thy scheme succeed? When the Indians awake to the 
knowledge of how they have been deceived and de- 
frauded — as they surely will! — with the sense of in- 
justice and wrong burning hot within them, what will 
they do? Thee knows well! The horrors of an In- 
dian war will break out upon this province. The in- 
nocent settlers who have bought and settled ignorantly 
the fraudulently gotten and sold lands; the helpless 
women and children on the frontier ; even they who share 
in the Indian's righteous indignation at the wrong done 
them, will suffer the chief brunt and burden of aroused 
savage wrath and cruelty ; and men like me will be called 
upon to breast and beat back the storm, in order to save 
them from the vengeance which thee and thy partners 
in the fraud, alone should bear ! " 

From time to time the Proprietary shifted uneasily in 
his saddle — for both men had halted and sat their horses 
during the colloquy — and tried to interrupt the scout. 
At last he broke forth in an oath and ejaculation of 
fierce anger and dismay. 

"What! Thee does not believe me?" retorted 
Ben-Thee. " Thee counts all this the spawn of an idle 
and heated imagination? Nay; it is because thee will 
not believe! The love of gain, the lust for lands have 
blinded thee. But, remember! I have warned thee. 
I reject thy offer with scorn. And were I to follow 
the impulse of my just anger, I would smite thee to the 



38 QUAKER BEN 

earth for the insult thee has offered and the wrong thee 
proposes." He touched Nelly with his riding whip 
and galloped toward Pennsbury. 

Thomas Penn sat, motionless as an equestrian statue, 
his horse reined up, on the elevated spot where this in- 
terview had occurred. Had a bomb burst at his side, 
he could not have been more astonished. So sudden, 
so wholly unexpected had been this outburst of rebuke 
and denunciation that he was for the moment power- 
less to think or act. What! This man whom he had 
hoped to wield as a puppet in his hand, had turned out 
a prophet of denunciatory wrath ! He, the Proprietary 
and Governor-in-chief of Pennsylvania, the son and heir 
of William Penn, had been scorned like a beggar, threat- 
ened like a schoolboy! This scout, this wildwood 
ranger, fresh from the mountains and backwoods of his 
own province, had denounced him, dared him, defied 
him ! This nobody ! 

Astonishment, anger, wounded pride, revenge, raged 
within him. He flung his clenched fist into the air, and 
shook it at Ben-Thee's fast retreating form. He would 
follow him! He would crush him! He dashed down 
the slope in pursuit. 

Then Conscience appeared, silently thrust up through 
this swirl of passions. " Ought I to do this thing? 
Is the man right ? " 

Then came Fear in the wake of Conscience; an unde- 
fined dread, a — something, that stirred within him a 
sense of the judgment of his fellows, of Philadelphia, 
of England, of the King, of the Indians! Could there 
be aught of truth in that awful prediction of savage 
wrath and revenge? It might be, judged by his own 
feelings toward that forester! Ah, if he could smite 
him! In the hot returning surge of that thought he 
spurred on his horse again. 

Then came Avarice, creeping up amidst the chaos of 
contending emotions, throttling this, urging on that; 
soothing one, stimulating another. In the effort to grasp 



THE FOX TURNS HUNTER 39 

more, might he not indeed lose all? Again he reined 
up his horse. What, will Avarice, his evil genius, come 
in now to serve him as a friend? 

He halted. Ben-Thee had disappeared around a dense 
clump of projecting woods. In the opposite direction 
Penn heard the well-known sounds of the chase — the 
yelping of hounds, the tantar-a-a of the bugle, the view 
halloo of the huntsmen, the thud of galloping horse- 
hoofs over the virgin turf. Another fox had been 
raised. 

The whole cavalcade swept by, hounds and huntsmen. 
Lady Jenks caught sight of him, there, upon the knoll, 
motionless. "Why does he not join the chase?'' she 
wondered. She checked her horse's speed, and signaled 
to him to come on. 

Penn made no sign. She understood him well enough 
to know that something had greatly disturbed him. 
Something serious it must be, to hold him thus unmoved 
in the face of hounds in full cry. She turned her 
horse's head toward the knoll where the Proprietary 
stood. His flushed face, his dark and scowling brow, 
his distraught manner, revealed his agitated spirit and 
aroused temper. 

" What has happened ? *' she asked. Then ere her 
query was answered, she remembered that when she 
had seen him last, he had been riding with Ben-Thee. 
Her woman's telepathic instinct at once associated the 
Proprietary's mood with the scout, and his absence 
seemed to give the key thereto. 

"Where is Ben-Thee?" 

" We have quarreled ; he is gone ! Curse him ! " The 
reply was snapped out fiercely. 

" Quarreled I About what, may I ask ? " 

"Not now! He has insulted me; defied me! I 
will—" 

"Come ! Do nothing rashly. I think I can guess. It 
is something about that Indian Walk. I have never 
favored your scheme, as you know, fearing it woidd 



40 QUAKER BEN 

breed trouble. But I will stand by you now! Come; 
let us join the chase. You must not let this quarrel get 
wind. It will stir up no end. of gossip. I will try to 
hush It up. Come, let us away at once. We can 
pretend interest, even if you have no heart in the chase. 
Let us smooth the quarrel over — keep it from guests 
and men." 

She laid her hand upon the bridle rein of Penn's 
horse, and put her own steed in motion. And so she 
constrained him. Into a walk — into a gentle trot — 
into a quick canter — into a rattling gallop — the two 
rode away; down the slope, across a wide mead strewn 
with wild flowers, over a rippling creek, into an open 
wood where the hunters had come to a halt. The fox 
had taken to earth. A deep den it was, by all tokens, 
the huntsmen thought. No one could tell how far into 
the bulging bank it might run. 

" Heigh, ho ! " cried Lady Jenks merrily, and sounded 
a recall on her own bugle. " Let the sly fellow have his 
liberty. The hunt is up for the day. Luncheon awaits 
us at Pennsbury. Come away ! " 

"So be it!" said Thomas Penn. "The lady's will 
is law." 

He had gained control of himself by this time, and 
although his features were anything but clear, his gloom 
and silence were credited by some, to disappointment at 
the escape of the fox and the breaking up of the hunt; 
by others, to "one of Penn's moody turns." Lady 
Jenks kept close to him during the homeward ride, and 
deftly fenced against all questions and remarks that 
threatened to betray the Proprietary's misadventure; 
thrusting and parrying with such inimitable skill, that 
by the time they had come to the manor-house, Penn had 
regained full command of himself. 

As the lady dismounted at Pennsbury, she turned a 
smiling visage toward Arthur Burbeck, who was at her 
side to receive Major from her hands. 

" Tell your master — I beg pardon, your friend^'' said 



THE FOX TURNS HUNTER 41 

the lady, and there was a delicate stab in the change 
of titles which Arthur was shrewd enough to note, and 
quickly interposed : 

"Both, my lady; both master and friend; and rarely 
good in ayther relation ! " 

" Aye ; tell him that his horse Major is as noble and 
courteous and serviceable an animal as one could wish 
himself or any other person to be, as man. And say 
that I have thanked you for his use to-day, on trial of 
his fitness for purchase as a hunter. The scout has just 
received word of pressing affairs that have compelled him 
to ride home directly, and I am to give you a message 
to join him at your convenience." Escorted by the 
Proprietary she led the way into the house, followed 
by the hunting guests. 

Arthur stroked Major's neck while the saddles were 
being changed, keeping up meanwhile a monologue of 
petting phrases. " Sure, my gallant sorrel, there's a 
clock within me that strikes the hour o' luncheon, and 
after your morning ride and keen gallop with the 
hounds, you must be ready for your oats. But whist, 
laddie, you must een wait a wee ! For dinner must aye 
give way to duty, says I; though, faith, I count dinner 
a sort o' duty, too! — and one that folk are not often 
backward in comin' forard til! But jist now we'll let 
the dinner wait, an' follow your master at wanst." 

The manner of Lady Jenks had seemed hearty 
enough, with no outward sign of ruffled temper, or 
change of attitude since the early morning. Her dis- 
sembling had been flawless. Yet to Arthur's sensitive 
nature there was an indefinable something that showed 
that the personal atmosphere had somehow changed. He 
could not see, but he could feel it. He had that deli- 
cate antennal faculty which all insects, many men, and 
most women possess, but which is more highly developed 
in some than in others. Therefore he exchanged 
good-by greetings with servants and keepers, and turned 
into the river road to Philadelphia. He hoped that Ben- 



42 QUAKER BEN 

Thee would await him at the inn just beyond the manor, 
where they had spent the night, having ridden out the 
evening before, in order to report fresh and early at the 
hunt. 

And so he found it. Ben-Thee had stopped to bait his 
horse and order a snack for himself. Nelly and Major 
exchanged friendly greeting-whinnies, and having rubbed 
down and cared for the horses, Arthur joined the scout 
in the inn. 

As he sipped his beer and attacked the good remainder 
of a venison pie, he cast many a sly but searching glance 
at Ben-Thee, whose looks, as well as his unwonted 
silence, showed that something had gone wrong. 

" I got the message you left for me with Lady Jenks," 
at last he said, " and so foll'ed you at wanst. I hope 
thar's nothin' sayrious — " 

"What is that?" cried Ben-Thee, aroused from his 
reverie. " My message to Lady Jenks, did thee say? I 
do not understand. I left no message with the lady; 
indeed did not see her, before leaving! " 

" No message ! Not see her ? Whoo ! Then for sure 
she must 'a vended a whopper a-purpose to desave me! 
For she telled me you had resaved news of some pres- 
sing matters, and left word that I was to join you." 

" There's not a word of truth in it ! " exclaimed Ben- 
Thee. " I am surprised that such a lady would descend 
to such false statements." 

" Sich a lady, indade ! " Arthur at last remarked. " I 
would not wush to think or say ill of her or anny one; 
for it's always well to be ceevil, as the old woman said 
whan she curtsied to the devil. But, an all I've h'ard 
from sarvants and kapers the daay be true, the lady is 
no better nor she should be." 

" Take care, Arthur ! " said Ben-Thee sharply, " a 
woman's reputation is her fairest treasure; and once the 
breath of slander blows upon it, it is hard to right the 
wrong done. The bearing and speech of Lady Jenks 
showed her to be a person of culture and breeding." 



THE FOX TURNS HUNTER 43 

" True enough ! " Arthur rejoined ; " an' aven the de'il 
is niver so black as he's painted; let alone a fair an' 
erring woman. An' yit, I dread it's all true they telled 
me. Who should know if not thim? It's a marriage 
over the broomstick, I doubt. The lady is not his wife, 
though she lives with him as sich. You obsarved, your- 
self, that he did not greet her with his own name. She 
is Lady Jenks to the public, not Lady Penn, whativer she 
may be in private. Though the fellow is manly enough 
they say, to acknowledge and provide for his by-blow 
of a son by her, whom I saw in the sarvants' charge 
and talked wi' him, — an' a fine young lad he is, at that, 
wi' more in him, I venture, nor iver his father was or will 
be!" 

Ben-Thee was more than surprised, he was shocked by 
this revelation. He had not suspected anything unusual 
in the presence and demeanor of Lady Jenks, though for 
a moment he had wondered at her appearing among them. 
That she was a friend (as she had been introduced), a 
kinswoman, a cousin perhaps, at all events a person whose 
propriety was certainly beyond challenge, he had at once 
accepted. 

But Arthur he knew to be a man of careful and trust- 
worthy habits, clear-headed and observant, not easily de- 
ceived, not given to tale-bearing, and though companion- 
able and inclined to be convivial, warm-hearted and 
chivalrous toward women. Ben-Thee therefore, though 
most unwillingly, gave credence to his report. 

He had received the lady in good faith as his host 
had introduced her, as her supposed rank and character 
might warrant, and as her manner fully justified. The 
fact that he had thus been deceived, viewed from the 
standpoint of one used to the simple life and unsullied 
morals of his puritan and Quaker training, added fuel 
to his indignation against the Proprietary. 

He concluded to make a confidant of Arthur, and as 
they quietly rode toward Philadelphia, told him of 
Thomas Penn's proposition and how he had treated it. 



44 QUAKER BEN 

Arthur gave his cordial sympathy, and confirmed, by his 
riper judgment and wider experience, his view of the 
wrong and danger of the Penn policies. 

" It is a'most past belafe," he said, ** that a son of 
WilHam Penn would go so far astray from the principles 
and practice of his honored sire. The whole Penn tribe, 
by all accounts, act more like the spawn of dissolute Eng- 
lish gintry, whose ways they ape, nor like the sons of 
a righteous man and an honest Quaker. 

" As to Lady Jenks — well, I wud niver 'a' thought it 
from her manners an' conversation, which are those of 
a born ledy. Howiver she foregathered wi' Thomas 
Penn is a mystery to me! Annyhow, it's my opeenion 
that the gray mare's the better horse. But jist try, Mr. 
Ben, to forgit the whole pedojerie! An' go ye on your 
own blameless way, an' I'ave one de'il to ding another. 
Though, poor ledy, I dar be sworn she has been more 
sinned ag^n nor sinning. An' let us both thank the Good 
Bein' that we are riot consumed wi' the lust o' riches, 
which, true enough, is the root of all avil." 



CHAPTER VI 

REMINISCENCES, A RESCUE, AND A ROSE IN 
BEN-THEE's PATH 

After his Pennsbury experience, Ben-Thee was agitated 
and restless. In his craving for sympathy he found his 
way to Father Owen's office, but he was not in. He 
walked up to his house which, unlike many merchants 
of the period, he kept wholly separate from his store- 
rooms. Only Dorothy was at home. Mother Lydia, with 
Phoebe and Grace having gone to " Mrs. Fishbourne's 
Ladies' Store " on the wharf back of her house at Water 
and Walnut Streets, then well within the fashionable 
shopping-quarter. 

Dorothy received him with the old-time sisterly 
warmth, though checked still by the unwonted reserve 
which he had noted at the first meeting, and which had 
sorely puzzled him. Yet, just as in the days when they 
were child-comrades, he felt drawn to her with that free- 
dom and fullness of sympathy which had always led him 
to open his heart to her rather than to anyone else. 
Dorothy had ever been the first and chief repository of 
his boy vexations and troubles. His plans, his pleasures, 
his triumphs, in whatever pursuits, he had shared first 
with her. And always he had found in her just what 
he sought — a full response of sympathy; pity for his 
petty griefs, gladness in his equally petty pleasures ; that 
is, if one may lawfully think of any child-affairs as 
"petty.'* How vast some of them had seemed to him; 
how almost overwhelming in their burden ! 

He laughed now, and wondered, too, recalling it all 
as the two walked together through the spacious garden 
and grounds, and indulged in delightful reminiscences of 



46 QUAKER BEN 

dear bygone days. " Petty affairs ! aye, small enough 
they seem now, but they filled all our world then," quoth 
Ben-Thee. "Does thee remember, Dorothy, the spring 
days — just such as this has been — when we together 
gathered the first wild flowers of the valley, and came 
back home with chubby hands full of blue violets and 
spring beauties and wild columbine, and arbutus from 
the mountain-side ? " 

" Indeed, yes ! " the maid replied. " And does thee 
remember the warmer days when the laurels bloomed on 
the edge of the mountain, and we climbed thither, and 
made wreaths, and thee crowned me as thy * sister 
queen ' ? " 

"Aye," said Ben-Thee, "and when thee took the 
wreath off thine own head and put it on mine, and said, 
* Nay ; it is the man that must wear the laurel crown ! ' 
For Father Owen had been reading to us the apostle 
Paul's use of the victors' crowns in the Greek games, and 
telling us about the Olympian contests. And I affirmed 
that truly I would be thy hero, and fight for thee if bears 
or Indians should come ! " 

" Tut, tut ! " said Dorothy. " Does thee keep in thy 
memory such foolish trifles as these ? " But her face 
glowed with pleasure, for all that, and her eyes grew 
soft and moist. 

"Indeed, I mind it all!" Ben-Thee replied. "And 
how thee cried out that thee would not have it! — for 
it was not right to fight, and thee would not have me 
put in peril for thy sake! And just then a rabbit ran 
out of its hole with a great rustle and rattle of loose 
stones, and thee cried in alarm, ' The bears and Indians 
are coming now!' and seized my hand and pulled me 
down the mountain slope, and we both raced home hand 
in hand." How heartily they laughed at that episode! 
Ben-Thee ran on : 

" Does thee mind the days when the Blue Mountains 
were a mass of color from base to dome, glowing against 
the early October sky in varied autumnal hues ? " 



A ROSE IN BEN-THEE'S PATH 47 

" How beautiful they were ! " exclaimed Dorothy. " I 
often long to see them once more! Philadelphia has 
some splendid hills nearby, and its forest foliage is fair 
to look upon — but, oh ! my heart goes out to the moun- 
tains of dear Cumberland ! " 

" And the nutting days ! " Ben-Thee continued. 
" After the first October frosts, does thee mind how we 
took bag and basket, and away to the big trees in the 
grove to gather chestnuts? How pretty they were as 
they lay in their smooth open burrs, the deep brown nuts 
just peeping out of their yellowish, velvety nest; or lying 
around on the grass, their glossy brown shells shining in 
the sun." 

So the talk ran on, gradually mounting from early 
rural days to the present and the town. Thus, at last, 
in the glow of confidence aroused by these remembrances, 
Ben-Thee told Dorothy, as he had always done when a 
boy, the matter that then most concerned him — the af- 
fair at Pennsbury, omitting only the advent of Lady 
Jenks. He listened eagerly to her voice lovingly con- 
soling him over the offered indignity. He saw the flash 
of her gray-brown eyes and the flush of pride on her 
cheeks, as she listened to his rejection of the Proprietary's 
offer and bribe ! How her form straightened up, — that 
form so petite ! — and seemed to grow visibly before him 
under the stimulus of her admiration and approval! 

Ah! That delicious emotion which thrills the soul at 
hearing a noble achievement wrought by one we love! 
And how fine and sweet is the feeling in one's breast 
when a worthy deed is thus rewarded ! This is the best 
reward, next to approval of one's own breast. And in 
woman's power it lies, most of all, to mete out such 
reward, and make men's souls nobler, truer, stronger for 
all good ways. 

In the exaltation of the moment and the rapture of 
Dorothy's commendation, Ben-Thee could scarce refrain 
from taking her in his arms as in the old days of which 
they had been talking. Yet, there was that in the 



48 QUAKER BEN 

maiden's manner which restrained him. He was puzzled 
more than ever. Surely, here was no lack of sisterly 
interest and sympathy and fondness! And as for him- 
self, he had not changed. No, he had not changed — 
a brother still and always! But Dorothy? — A pas- 
sing whim, perhaps! He had heard that maidens were 
liable to such. It would clear up, by and by ! 

Now returned the absent ladies, and the talk was all 
of the Fair so soon to open. Would not Ben-Thee await 
it ? It seemed, perforce, he must, for the load of goods 
for the interior stores, which he had hoped to bear on 
his pack-horses from Philadelphia merchants, was slow 
in making up. Ere the party broke up (he had waited 
for the mid-day meal), he promised to return in the even- 
ing. 

Early in the afternoon an errand that required the aid 
of the negro Cato brought Ben-Thee to the neighbor- 
hood of the London Coffee-house at the comer of Walnut 
and Front Streets. A crowd of men had gathered there 
at a slave auction, in response to an advertisement for 
the sale of a shipment of negroes from the Barbados. 
A large packing-box set in front of the tavern served 
at once as a platform for the auctioneer and an upping- 
block from which the negroes one after another could 
step upon a hogshead, where their physical qualities could 
be displayed to purchasers. 

A group of negroes of both sexes and sundry ages, 
huddled together at one side, presented a pitiful spectacle 
to one who, like Ben-Thee, was not hardened to such 
scenes, and whose feelings and principles were alike op- 
posed to traffic in human beings. But little of that senti- 
mental view of the situation appeared in those present. 
It seemed like an ordinary business affair, as the sale 
of horses and cattle. Even the city negroes, drawn 
thither by curiosity, if they felt resentment or pity at 
the treatment of their fellows, showed no signs thereof 
in their bearing. 

The auction was just beginning. Two men and £i 



A ROSE IN BEN-THEFS PATH 49 

half-grown boy had been sold, commanding high prices 
after lively bidding; for the need of labor in the colony 
was great and pressing. The auctioneer next announced, 
reading from the advertisement, "a likely breeding 
woman with her two-year-old boy/' 

A comely young matron loosely and lightly but neatly 
clad in linsey-woolsey, mounted the cask, holding her lit- 
tle child by the hand. Several men stepped forward to 
make closer inspection, feeling the limbs to test the firm- 
ness and fullness of the muscles. The woman cast anx- 
ious glances from one to another of her inspectors as 
though to penetrate their character and calling, and thus 
catch some glimpse of her impending fate. 

A lull in the auctioneer's vending calls, to answer ques- 
tions of the several buyers, was broken by a loud cry 
from the fringe of the crowd. It was a strange, half- 
savage shout. The alarmed company turned toward the 
point whence the sound had come and saw Cato, Ben- 
Thee's hired servant, rushing like a madman through the 
crowd, elbowing men to right and left as he made to- 
ward the auction-stand. The woman upon the cask, 
startled, like others, looked at the excited man coming 
toward her, and with a shrill scream leaped to the 
ground. 

"It is my wife!" shouted Cato to bystanders who 
tried to hold him off. "It is my wife and child!" 

He shook his opposers from him, and pushed on to- 
ward the woman, frantically making her way to him. In 
a moment they had met. He clasped her in his arms 
and covered her face with kisses, while both sobbed aloud, 
in a passionate flood of tears. The child, held to his 
place by the auctioneer, was weeping violently. 

A great silence fell upon the crowd. Men were awed 
by the scene. Some were in tears. Some muttered 
curses against a system from which such happenings 
could spring. Then, out of the silence, the voice of Ben- 
Thee, who had pushed to the front, trembling with emo- 
tion but clear and strong, was heard. 



50 QUAKER BEN 

" Gentlemen, this man was bought by me in the in- 
terior of the province, and at once freed, though I keep 
him on wages as a servant. He is a trusty and faith- 
ful man. I will buy his wife and child and free them 
also, that they may live together, if thee all will per- 
mit the public offer to be withdrawn that I may purchase 
at private sale." 

" Yes, yes ! Permit, permit ! " rose in a volley of 
voices from the crowd, while men wiped their eyes and 
swung their hats, mingling cheers with their tears. 
Meanwhile, Cato and his wife threw themselves on their 
knees, and clasping Ben-Thee's legs, poured out thanks 
and blessings. 

Even the auctioneer was affected, as indeed were the 
merchants for whom he acted. But the commercial 
spirit, for the moment swept away by the rush of senti- 
ment, was soon recovered, and the cool voice of one 
of the slave-dealers remarked : 

" I do not know this gentleman. He is a stranger 
here. What guarantee can we have that he can and will 
fulfill his promise ? " 

" Does thee know Kersey Owen ? " Ben-Thee asked, 
" And will he be acceptable guarantee ? " 

"None better, sir!" 

" Come then with me to his store-room, which is 
hardby, and thee shall have thy money at once. Name 
thy price ! " 

It was not an uncanny stroke of business, as the event 
proved, to put the question then and there. " Good ! " 
cried a man from the ring in front of the auction box. 
" And see that it be a fair one ! We will tolerate no un- 
just dealing with such a generous man as this." 

A fair price was named and accepted; and Cato, 
proudly bearing his boy in his arms with his wife at his 
side, accompanied the merchant and Ben-Thee to Friend 
Owen's store, where the price was paid. Ere the sun 
had set legal papers of emancipation were made out, and 
the happy pair were lodged at the inn, until such time as 



A ROSE IN BEN-THEE'S PATH 51 

they would return with their generous master to the Cum- 
berland Valley. 

The moon had risen over the Jersey bluffs, and was 
flooding with light the broad bosom of the Delaware, 
when Ben-Thee reached the Owen home. The day had 
been unusually warm, and for the first time that spring 
the family had gathered upon the covered porch before 
the door and beneath the balcony, to enjoy the soft even- 
ing air. Their friends, Angus Reagan and his daughter 
Rhoda, had joined them on the porch for a neighborly 
visit. 

The affair of the slave auction had already been dis- 
cussed; and as generosity is a sort of heroism with well- 
organized folk, Ben-Thee was received with unusual 
warmth. 

" I have heard of your kindly deed," said Mr. Reagan, 
as Ben-Thee was introduced, " and commend your hu- 
manity. I trust it will not be abused by the recipients of 
your bounty." 

" No fear of that, if the wife is at all like Cato." 

" My dearest friend Rhoda Reagan — our brother 
Benjamin ! " 

It was Dorothy who thus presented him to Rhoda. 
The young woman, who had risen at his coming, ad- 
vanced into the full light of the moon and offered her 
hand. A warm hand it was, and as it lay in his for the 
moment the contact was so vital and soft that it left a 
pleasant sensation, the like of which he had not felt be- 
fore. Is there indeed a species of palmistry that de- 
termines at times the lines of destiny by the touch of 
palm to palm ? 

" May I venture to add my hearty approval of your 
humane act?" said Rhoda. 

That voice! How sweet it sounded in his ears! So 
low, so musical, so perfectly modulated, with just a trace 
of the ancestral Scotch burr therein ! It seemed to ring 
up ghosts of dearest fancies long entombed in the cells 
of memory. It was not like Dorothy's — no, not at all I 



52 QUAKER BEN 

Yet It made him think of her; and of those childhood 
days which they had so lately revived together. What- 
ever the secret of its quality, it stirred his heart and drew 
it out as never voice had done before, since his mother 
had soothed his boyish ills and sung to him the Psalms. 
Touch and voice alike had strangely moved him, as he 
stood looking into that fair face bathed in the moonlight. 

His answer came slowly. " Thee must not make too 
much of such an act. I take no credit for it, for I could 
not have done otherwise. How could I have left my 
servant in such sore stress without relieving him* in the 
only way possible? Could I have left his wife and child 
to be sold and separated far from him? Could he have 
wrought willing, service for me thereafter? No, no! my 
action was a simple and necessary one." 

" It well becomes your modesty to say as much," 
Rhoda replied. " Yet I dare say you did not reason the 
case so coolly as that, but acted upon the first kind impulse 
of your heart." She stepped to her seat in the shaded 
background, leaving Ben-Thee standing in the full moon- 
light looking at her. 

"Thee is quite right, Rhoda," said Mother Lydia. 
" Our Benjamin has done worthily, as we all agree. 
Yet we must not take the blush off a good deed by undue 
praise. It is enough to know that the Master of us all 
hath said, ' Well done ! ' But what will thee do with 
the woman and child, Benjamin? Thee has some plan, 
I am sure." 

" That is easily settled. Thee knows that I now have 
a farm and cabin in the valley. It is a sort of bachelor's 
hall ; for Cato has a man's awkwardness in housekeeping, 
though a most faithful creature. With his wife we will 
get on better, I doubt not ; for in his talks about her — 
of which the poor fellow never tired — he always spoke 
of her as used to house service in the Barbados and 
handy therein. I will build them a cabin for their own 
quarters, where they will be contented and happy; and 
they will care for my house when I am absent, which is 



A ROSE IN BEN-THEFS PATH 53 

pretty often, and make me more comfortable when I am 
at home. I count it rare good fortune that we happened 
to stop at the slave auction just when we did." 

"Nothing happens — to a child of Heaven, Benja- 
min ! " said Mother Lydia. " Let us thank Him whose 
providential ordering set both thee and Cato at the right 
place in the right time ! Has thee found a name for the 
woman?" 

" Name? Oh, yes! " said Ben-Thee laughing. " She 
has one already, and a grand one — Cleopatra. Though 
Cato clips it to ' Cleo,' I have noticed." 

" Cato and Cleopatra ! — philosopher and queen ! " 
said Rhoda, joining in the laughter. "You will not 
lack for wisdom and sobriety as well as royal grace in 
your back-woods cabin; at least, if there's anything in a 
name." 

" Indeed," quoth Mother Lydia, " I hope he may have 
them both in good time, in a more substantial form than 
his servants' names!" 

It was a pleasant remark, and the smiling matron who 
made it from a heart overflowing with love and good- 
ness, had no one maiden in mind as she spoke of the 
ideal blessing that might come some day to her foster- 
son's cabin. Yet one wonders why Ben-Thee's eyes wan- 
dered across the separating band of moonlight to Rhoda 
Reagan's shaded chair; and why Dorothy should have 
blushed, though unsuspected thereof, and have been con- 
scious of a faint fluttering at the heart. 

That night, as Ben-Thee entered his room at the inn, 
it struck him as unwontedly lonely and unlovely. 
" Rhoda ! The name means a rose, I am told. Well 
named, truly ; whether for beauty or for sweetness ! " 

He fell asleep while thinking over the day's incidents, 
and dreamed that he was walking with Rhoda Reagan 
near the clumps of wild roses, which grew in a corner of 
his cabin garden. He stopped to pluck a bunch of the 
sweet briars, which he gave to Rhoda; and she, after 
smelling its wild fragrance, placed a spray in her knotted 



54 QUAKER BEN 

hair, and pinned another on Dorothy's bosom. Though 
how Dorothy had dropped into the scene, seemed strange 
to him even for an incident of a dream. 



CHAPTER VII 

AN OLD-TIME MAYING FAIR 

Among the importations from the old country that for 
a while Philadelphia clung to lovingly, were the public 
fairs. After the War for Independence they ceased. 
Their disappearance was due to various causes; but es- 
pecially to the better organized conditions of commercial 
life that diverted traffic from public to private places. 
Progress in the same direction is modifying and will 
probably destroy or greatly limit the system of public 
markets for which Philadelphia has long been so famous. 

However, as against this tendency to specialize and 
distribute trade are the " department stores," a highly de- 
veloped return to the ancient public fairs, and to the 
frontier and country stores where one could buy in a 
limited space almost everything needed and purchasable 
in the vicinage. 

Fair week was a season of great interest in old Phila- 
delphia. Its approach filled the town with lively antici- 
pations. Homes and shops resounded with preparation. 
Visitors from rural parts of the colony flocked cityward. 
Even the ports of adjoining colonies and of the Barba- 
dos and Jamaica sent contributions to the public barter, 
adding thus to the shipping anchored in the Delaware 
before the city front. Inns were crowded. Private hos- 
pitality was general. 

It was a holiday time; and that large part of the com- 
munity given to amusements, — for the powerful Quaker 
element was a numerical minority — though a political 
majority — gave free rein to their pleasure-loving tastes. 
Special liberties were allowed the slaves, and on the last 
day of a fair one might see hundreds of them gathered 



56 QUAKER BEN 

in Washington Square dancing, singing and merry-mak- 
ing, much after the wild fashion of their savage ancestors. 

Twice a year, in May and November, these fairs were 
held, and now the Maying Fair was at hand. From the 
Owen house came a blithesome band. Dorothy, Grace 
and Phoebe, Rhoda Reagan, the Owen boys, Paul, Gaius 
and Marcus and Ben-Thee, set forth to the Market House 
on May-Day morning. The clear, warm weather of the 
last few days still prevailed. The market stalls were 
fancifully decorated. The proprietors and renters had 
vied with one another in sharp rivalry to make the finest 
display. In some cases, patch-work quilts and coverlets, 
favorite articles of domestic industry among colonial 
ladies, were used to inclose the spaces taken by merchants 
for their wares. 

As the little company, in full flush of buoyant spirits, 
approached the Market House, they found a great crowd 
already gathered. The opening of the fair was about to 
be proclaimed. Taking his stand upon a meat block, 
a generous chunk sawed from the butt of a large oak 
tree, the mayor's representative began in a loud voice : 

" Oyez ! Oyez ! Silence is commanded while the fair 
is being proclaimed, upon pain of punishment! Oyez, 
Oyez! Know ye all that Clement Plumsted Esquire, 
the Honorable Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, doth 
hereby, in the King's name, strictly charge and com- 
mand all persons trading and negotiating within the 
fair, to keep the King's peace; and that no person pre- 
sume to set up any booth or stall for the vending of 
strong liquors within the fair; that none carry any un- 
lawful weapon; or gallop or strain horses within the built 
up part of the city. And if any person be hurt by an- 
other, let him repair to the Mayor here present. God 
save the King!" 

''God save the King!'' The prayer was echoed in 
hearty chorus by the great company, the men standing 
with uncovered heads; for the early colonists held the 
highest type of loyalty. Then came pandemonium. 



AN OLD-TIME MAYING FAIR 57 

Ear-splitting calls broke forth in every quality of voice 
from high tenor to deep bass, here suavely fluting, there 
harshly grating. Shrill screams, and raucous yells arose 
from venders of goods. The sellers of children's toys 
racked the ears with the blare of trumpets, the screech 
of hautboys, the squeaking of fiddles, the tooting of 
horns, the shrilling of whistles, the rattle of drums — 
whatever noise might lure children to their stands to get 
their promised fairings. 

The Owen party slowly moved through the thronged 
passageways, joining in the prevailing gaiety, and stop- 
ping now and then to price the wares or to make a pur- 
chase. There was enough to tempt them — dry-goods, 
millinery, cakes, confections, knick-knacks and notions, 
meats, game, vegetables, chandlery, books, toys, — a great 
multitude of fancy and useful things from the old coun- 
try and the new colonies. 

At last they passed a booth wherein was displayed a 
choice collection of skins and peltry. As Ben-Thee was 
particularly interested in such articles, he stopped and 
entered ; and as Rhoda humorously remarked, " like Gad, 
a troop did follow him." Here he greeted his late fel- 
low traveler Alfred Oster, not cheapening goods like 
others in the booth, but talking with a handsome young 
man about his own age whose deeply bronzed face be- 
tokened an open-air life. Their conversation was ear- 
nest, indeed seemed to be verging upon anger, when in- 
terrupted by the coming of the Owen party. 

Oster was known to the Owens, through his sister 
Agnes, a school-friend of Grace's, and he presented, in 
a stiff and somewhat constrained fashion, his " friend 
Mr. Robin More." This gentleman seemed to have some 
special interest in the booth. The salesman was a man 
of ruder bearing and riper years. He was dressed in a 
frontiersman's deer-skin hunting-shirt, a fitting garb, as 
among the goods displayed were several unusually large 
and fine bear-skins, with skins of panthers and wolves 
and furs of beaver and foxes. A number of shoppers 



S8 QUAKER BEN 

were before the large table that served as a counter, 
examining the miscellaneous goods, which appeared to 
be mainly from the West Indies and the Spanish prov- 
inces. But Ben-Thee's attention was fixed upon the 
pelts. 

" This is something in your line? " remarked the sales- 
man, glancing at Ben-Thee's hunting-suit which some- 
what resembled his own. 

" Yes, I have done some hunting," was the reply, " and 
still follow the business betimes. Where were these skins 
taken?" 

" In the mountains beyond the Susquehanna ; but I can- 
not speak for all of them, as some were purchased by 
Captain More from a roving hunter. That is a fine bear- 
skin, sir. And the price is not high. Shall I put it up 
for you?" 

Ben-Thee called Dorothy to him. "Would not this 
suit Mother Lydia ? " he asked. " See what a large and 
perfect skin it is ; and admirably dressed ! I would like 
to present her this for a rug. What say thee? " 

" It would be welcome, I am sure; and most good of 
thee to think of a fairing for her." 

"Have you looked at this sample, Mr. Ben?" said 
Oster. " I think you would like it better than the other." 
He laid his hand upon a large bear-skin that hung against 
the booth just by him. 

" It is certainly the hide of a noble beast," Ben-Thee 
said. " Yet my fancy turns to this one." 

" But see ! " Oster persisted. " It is not only the ex- 
traordinary size of the skin that I remark; but the fur is 
so thick and soft ! " He rubbed his hand along it. " I 
would like you to examine it." 

" It is not many merchants," remarked Phoebe with a 
light laugh, " that are fortunate enough to have a cus- 
tomer act the part of a salesman ! " 

Oster recognized the trace of raillery in her words and 
replied : " But you see, Miss Phoebe, I had an opportunity 
to learn Mr. Ben's skill and taste in these matters, when 



AN OLD-TIME MAYING FAIR 59 

we were fellow travelers; although I did not then know 
his close relation to your family. I am all the more 
anxious to have him served with the best things, so that 
he may carry back a favorable opinion of Philadelphia 
and her trade." 

"Besides," said Rhoda, catching Phoebe's bantering 
spirit, " Mr. Oster is so thoroughly a merchant that the 
ruling passion persists in other shops than his own. 
When he cannot sell his own goods he enjoys selling an- 
other person's." 

"Or who knows? These may be his own," Phoebe 
remarked, keeping up the quizzing. " Perhaps he has 
made a venture in the fair, as our young merchants 
sometimes do, hoping thereby to turn an honest penny." 

" Oh, not at all ! By no means ! " Oster rejoined with 
more heat than the occasion seemed to require. " Do 
not think of such a thing! I was thinking of Mr. Ben; 
and merely wished — " 

" I am obliged to Mr. Oster for his suggestion," Ben- 
Thee interrupted, "but I will bide by my first choice." 
Turning to the salesman : " Tie up this bear-skin, these 
two panther-skins, this wolf-skin and these two beavers. 
My man Cato will take charge of them." 

So the party passed on down the crowded way. Mr. 
Oster took the privilege of former acquaintance to join 
the Owen group, and attached himself to Rhoda Reagan, 
to the evident discomfort of Paul Owen, who had as- 
sumed the post of squire to that young lady, apparently 
to her content. 

Robin More, who had been holding an animated con- 
versation with Grace Owen, begged permission to walk 
with her friends through the Fair, a favor which Miss 
Grace took pleasure in granting. More was a comely 
and manly looking youth, with the easy manners of an 
English gentleman somewhat sobered by the more courtly 
and stately style of the Spaniard. His frank and open 
military bearing was accounted for by Mr. Oster, who 
explained that he was an officer of the " Heather," a trim 



6o QUAKER BEN 

looking vessel in the West Indies trade, that had come to 
Philadelphia with goods for the Fair, As its skipper was 
a Scotchman, the father of young More, the name was 
readily accounted for. 

As the party moved down the Market-House aisle, 
although it did not so occur to them, nor perhaps to 
others in the Fair, they presented what now-a-days would 
seem a picturesque group. The Owen girls were dressed 
in Quaker drab silk, with plain bonnets to match, though 
not so pronounced in depth as those of their seniors. 
Rhoda, not restricted by her religious views, wore a 
bright chintz with high waist, and skirt lacking in fullness 
what it made up in length, with a wide-rimmed flaring hat 
of the period. The Owen young men wore the Quaker 
coat, with long flapped waistcoat, knee breeches, and 
silk stockings. But they followed their generation rather 
than their sect by mounting silver shoe and knee buckles 
instead of ties. Oster's dress was rich and gay as an 
English gentleman's, while Robin More affected that of 
a naval officer's undress uniform with a modest display 
of gilt braid. He and Oster, alone of the men, had 
dress swords. All wore ruffled shirt-fronts and sleeves; 
and wide beaver hats looped up by cords behind and at 
the sides ; and all but Ben-Thee had queues, varying only 
in length, and in the color of the ribbon bows. Ben- 
Thee's hat showed prominently, perhaps by its great size 
and plainness and contrast with his dark green hunting- 
shirt; and beneath it flowed his long, wavy, brown hair. 

Thus appareled, they mingled with the people who, 
in holiday dress and in high holiday spirits, filled the 
booths and aisles, and clustered about the various games 
and devices for extracting coin from the pockets of those 
who had come a-fairing. 

They were elbowed by the pushing throng, good-na- 
tured then, as they are to-day in the city's great crowds 
on public occasions; but with their van of stalwart youth 
to serve as a sort of breakwater and buffer, they made 
good headway. Now and then they stopped to examine, 



AN OLD-TIME MAYING FAIR 6i 

to price, to buy, or to halt where an ever-gathering and 
dissolving group showed some special object of interest. 
There they craned over heads, or strained around ob- 
structing personages, or peered through openings in the 
mass, to see or try to see what might be the attraction. 

Now the party moved on ; and as the hour approached 
for the midday meal, after a whispered conference with 
Rhoda about Oster and More, all were invited to the 
Owen house. The May Fair was a time for the largest 
hospitality among householders, and as these young men 
had shared so much of the morning's pleasuring, it 
seemed inhospitable not to include them in the breaking 
of bread. So away they all trooped, and soon Mother 
Lydia and Father Owen were giving them welcome to a 
board that groaned with the good things abundantly 
yielded by the waters and woods, as well as the gardens 
of Philadelphia. It was a light-hearted company and a 
large one that gathered around the table; and no ap- 
proaching shadow darkened the merry hour. 

Do such records seem trivial to the reader? Be 
pleased to remember then, — for surely your memory will 
vindicate the author's herein! — that of such seemingly 
small affairs the web of life is spun; light threads and 
single of warp and of woof, entering in here and there, 
day by day. How fair in the retrospect such holiday 
trifles seem ! Aye, and what momentous events, the very 
pivot of our destiny, have turned upon the chance meet- 
ings and incidents of such a day as brought this May- 
fairing. 



CHAPTER VIII 

FOOT RACES AT THE FAIR 

It would be hard to cast together on the current path- 
ways of human life two characters whose early training 
and outward estate differed more widely than those of 
Grace Owen and Robin More. Yet the fates that out of 
such far-diverging origins at last had brought them to- 
gether, seemed to be drawing them more closely to one 
another. What would the issue be? 

Grace's life for all its nineteen years had been shielded 
in a home that even among Friends was marked by its 
high character for purity, peacefulness and love. The 
perfect unity of Kersey and Lydia, the parents, had never 
been broken by a word of domestic discord. If ever 
there had been an inward difference, it had not come to 
the surface. Theirs was a unique existence of congenial 
spirits united in marriage, and held in one by mutual love, 
esteem and forbearance, ruled by consciences developed 
to the highest sensitiveness. 

That unity was reflected in their children's relations to 
their parents and to one another. As the youngest child, 
Grace had gained from every member of the household 
some touch of influence tending to add sweetness and 
symmetry to a character that was the rarest charm of the 
Owen home. What might that character develop in the 
future ? her parents had sometimes wondered. Certainly, 
with all her affectionate placidity, she was not a weak- 
ling! 

In all these conditions of life Robin More was the 
sharpest contrast. His earliest recollections had been of 
the sea. Dim and confused they were, shot through with 
a brief and imperfect vision of other scenes. But it 



FOOT RACES AT THE FAIR 63 

could have been said of him, almost literally, that he had 
been " rocked in the cradle of the deep." He could not 
distinctly recall a time when his father had not been an 
officer or a commander of a sailing vessel. 

He was a motherless lad. No recollection of a 
mother's fondling and care was lodged — most sacred 
tenant! — in his memory. He was an only child. No 
brothers — no sisters — no kindred, had he known — no 
home, after his brief school days, save the little cabins 
of the " Heather " and her predecessors. No companions 
were his, from the period of youth on, but the men and 
boys that made up the ship's crew, for the most part, a 
dissolute and disorderly lot. 

His father was a hard but kindly man; kindly at least, 
to him. He was not bred a common seaman, that was 
plain. From childhood Robin could note the difference 
between his father's manners and those of the men around 
him. The reserve, the courtliness, the general bearing 
of a gentleman, which impressed all who met him, were 
reflected in that rare demeanor of his son which differ- 
entiated him also from others on shipboard, and indeed 
from most whom he met. 

Passionate, though self-poised; profane, though not 
obscene; a free drinker, though never drunken. Captain 
More had reared his boy to temperance, clean speech, and 
self-control. In his dealings with his men he was just 
and firm ; was absolutely fearless, and he knew how and 
when to relax the reins of discipline, of which, however, 
he never lost command. In these respects Robin More 
was an apt scholar under his father, whom with all his 
traits of mingled strength and weakness, he held in high 
esteem and affection. 

As he grew in years and began to think and reason, 
Robin discovered that the "Heather" was something 
more than a West India trader, or a trader of any sort. 
She was a free sea-rover. Not a pirate — no ! She flew 
the English flag — always. But whether or no open war 
existed between England and Spain or France, a Spanish 



54 QUAKER BEN 

or a French vessel was apt to be held as a lawful prize. 
In short, the " Heather " was an uncommissioned British 
privateer, whose captain took large liberty in interpreting 
the articles under which he sailed. Always a trader; 
habitually a smuggler; at will a privateer; always in- 
tensely loyal to its own country and colors. Captain 
More's brig was a rare mixture of merchantman, smug- 
gler, and man-o'-war. 

More and more, as he grew to manhood, Robin had 
grown to dislike and disapprove the mode of life to which 
he had been bred. True, it was tolerated by many, per- 
haps by most citizens of the colonies. They recognized 
its value as providing " wooden walls "of defense for 
their ports, against aggressive Spanish and French ships, 
that were as free with American and British vessels as the 
" Heather " was with themselves. And this was consid- 
ered by the multitude as quite covering any occasional 
left-handed revenue transactions. 

All these points his father had pressed upon him, in 
conversations that recently had become more earnest and 
animated. Yet well as he knew them, he could not over- 
come his feelings; and at last had persuaded his father, 
in view of war that seemed now inevitable, to apply for a 
regular warrant as a recognized privateer, and to abandon 
all that had been irregular in the ship's career. 

It was pending this request that the meeting with the 
Owens occurred at the Maying Fair. Like a night moth 
to a burning lamp the young sailor was attracted to Grace 
Owen. He had made himself her escort through the 
booths, and in various games. He had carried her little 
purchases, and gained permission to add thereto a trifling 
fairing as a gallant's favor. He had kept at her side on 
the way to her home, and it so fared that he was placed 
next to her at table. His dark cheeks glowed with pleas- 
ure and his black eyes flashed with admiration as he 
looked (not too boldly) into Grace's blue eyes, and 
watched the color deepening and paling, in play of ani- 
mated converse, upon her pink cheeks. It was a notable 



FOOT RACES AT THE FAIR 65 

contrast that the pair exhibited — the tall, handsome offi- 
cer, with his black hair skillfully dressed and queued, and 
the lissome maid whose locks lay smooth and golden 
brown upon her well rounded brow, and whose benignant 
face and winning smiles beamed upon him with undis- 
guised pleasure. 

In the afternoon, after a brief rest for the young 
women, the Maying party sallied out again, their special 
point of interest being the races of the schoolboys. Our 
common school system was not then established. The 
current views of the civic duty to educate the public were 
yet in the future; but private schools existed, and the 
crude beginnings of the "Academy" which was after- 
ward to develop into the University of Pennsylvania. If 
champions of foot-ball and other athletic sports fancy 
that they represent a modem American movement, they 
are mistaken. The better part of two centuries lies be- 
hind them; and the lads of the infant Academy were as 
keen for the Fair-time races as ever were present-day 
schoolboys for so-called " Marathon races," or modern 
collegians for autumn bouts at foot-ball on Franklin Field 
and elsewhere. As Paul Owen was a tutor in the Acad- 
emy, the sports of the afternoon were committed to him 
as arbiter, to see that all was done fairly and becomingly, 
and without harmful venture. 

The race track was the circuit of the square including 
Third and Fourth, Market and Chestnut Streets. That 
quadrangle was the scene of a merry spectacle. The 
booths were for the time well-nigh forsaken. A mixed 
crowd of whites, Indians and negroes, among whom 
were many young people, and all in holiday mood, 
thronged the sidewalks. Some two-score boys of four- 
teen and fifteen years, were assembled on Market Street 
in front of the finishing line. They were sans shoes, 
sans coats, sans waistcoats, collars and hats, keeping only 
breeches and shirts, and having their loins girt about 
like ancient runners. There was a deal of clamor and 
outcry for this and that and the other favor, in placing 



66 QUAKER BEN 

the candidates and arranging conditions of the race, after 
the manner of human younglings in all ages. 

All was in order at last, and the hour for beginning the 
race at hand, when a small boy approached the arbiter 
and asked if he might not run, too. He was a sturdy 
looking lad, and as he waited before Paul Owen with his 
coon-skin cap in his hand, his stiff carroty hair stood up 
on end around his crown. His face was deeply freckled 
and he wore a pair of moccasins, and doe-skin breeks and 
jacket. 

He repeated his request : ** Plaze, may I try my hand 
at the races ? — beg pardon, sorr, I mane try my f ut ! " 

Paul turned and looked good-naturedly at the boy, 
who stood just before our Maying party. " Why, my 
little fellow," he said, " I fear thee is too young to com- 
pete with these boys." 

" Well, sorr, maybe I'll be old enough by the time the 
races are over. Besides, you don't nade for to know my 
age, for I ha'en't tellt it yet! Ye may just enter me as 
under fourteen, an' that'll be the truth." 

"Ah! That would be a trick indeed!" said Paul, 
smiling. " But I fear some folk might think it would 
be * whipping the devil around the stump ' ; and we want 
no such races just now. Besides, you are not one of our 
scholars, and the prizes are for them alone. What is 
your name? " 

" Andy Burbeck, sorr, at your sarvice. An', sorr, if 
you plaze, I don't mind the prizes ! " was the reply. 
" It's only for the fun of it I'm cravin' a place. An' 
when I bate the other b'ys, I'll claim no prizes, but let 
'em all go to the rig'lars." 

This remark was greeted with shouts of derision by 
the schoolboys who stood near and heard the colloquy. 
" Thee conceited little jake ! " said a lanky, sallow- faced 
chap who seemed to be a leader among the lads. " Does 
thee think thee could beat a lot of trained runners like us ? 
Ha, ha ! Thee better go home and get thy head combed, 
little tousle-top!" 



FOOT RACES AT THE FAIR 67 

Andy was not in the least disconcerted; but thrusting 
his fingers quite unconcernedly through his stocky red 
hair, gave answer : " Wall, Mester Sass-box ! Ah'm no* 
a consated bubblyjock, like yourself, at laste. Jest 
gimme a chance, wanst, an' let him laugh who wins! 
Maybe ye'U laugh on the wrong side of your mouth afore 
ye're done wie it, Mester Spindle-shanks ! " 

The laugh was turned now, by Andy's apt nick-names 
and keen retort ; for in truth, " Spindle-shanks " was not 
popular among the boys and they were pleased to have 
him turned down so deftly. 

" Let the youngster go. Teacher ! " cried a hearty look- 
ing lad whose prominent nasal development had won him 
the nick-name of " Nosey." " What difference will it 
make ? It'll be fun to see him run. The more the mer- 
rier, say I. And he'll be well waxed ere the race is 
over!" 

" Thanks, young Master, for your courtesy ! " said 
Andy with a smile and a bow. " I wush you success in 
the race. But my father has a sayin' — praise the fair 
day at avenin' ! Ye can't mostly tell how things are to 
and, till they're anded. An' if the Teacher lets me run, 
I give ye warnin' (jest for your own ear) ye'U nade for 
to put your best fut foremost! " 

Here Ben-Thee interposed, and having explained who 
Andy was, spoke a good word in his behalf. Rhoda 
and the Owen girls joining the plea, the arbiter yielded 
the point, and Andy was allowed to enter the race. It 
seemed to be a merry joke among both spectators and 
runners as the Irish lad marched to his place. He was 
greeted by the boys with mingled cheers and hoots and 
laughter as he entered the ranks, with bantering (not 
unfriendly) calls of " Sorrel-top," " Tously-top," 
"Jakey," and "Freckles," to all of which Andy an- 
swered only by a good-natured nod and grin. 

As he passed by the little group where his father stood 
with Cato and Jan Cole, Arthur gave him a word of en- 
couragement. "Don't waste your stren'th at the out- 



68 QUAKER BEN 

gang, laddie ! Keep well to the front, but save your best 
licks for the last. An' de'il tak' the hindmost! which 
manes, I reckon, God bless the foremost ! " 

" Are you ready ? " asked the arbiter. 

" Ready ! " was the cheery response in chorus. 

" One — two — three and — Go ! '' 

The boys had been ranged across the street, stooping, 
their bodies well forward, left leg to the front, and at 
the word *' Go," off they went like a flight of arrows, 
amid the shouts and cheers of the spectators. The level 
front was soon a broken line; then a frazzled row, and 
ere long a straggling string of runners whose twinkling 
feet beat a pattering tattoo upon the road. 

When the first lap around the square was made, ten 
of the lads passed the arbiter's stand well together, 
" Spindle-shanks " and *' Nosey " in the lead, and Andy 
several yards behind. As the latter approached the Owen 
party, Robin More noted the wide interval, and expressed 
a fear that their little champion seemed likely to be badly 
beaten. 

" Ye can't mostly tell how things are to and, till they're 
anded ! " said Grace, smiling and quoting Andy's remark 
to the arbiter, with an admirable imitation of his accent, 
which the hearers greatly enjoyed. 

Just then the boy came by, and answered a hearty 
cheer by turning his face toward the party. Putting his 
hand to his mouth, he uttered an Indian war-whoop, 
leaped high into the air and, smiting both thighs as he 
came down, crowed like a rooster, and sped on without 
checking his gait. This exploit was greeted with laugh- 
ter and hurrahs by the folk near the finishing-line, while 
Arthur nodded his head approvingly and assured his 
neighbors that the lad was " all right and as fresh as a 
daisy!" 

At the next lap a number of the boys had fallen far 
back and some had dropped out. The leaders had shifted 
places, " Nosey " being in front, " Spindle-shanks " fol- 
lowing, a third academician close by, and Andy a little 



FOOT RACES AT THE FAIR 69 

behind. However, he executed another demi-vault in 
passing, which showed that his vigor was unabated. 

" Upon my word ! " said Ben-Thee, " I believe the lad 
is just playing with them. Mark me, he'll come out 
first!" 

Quoth Louper Jan, who was near enough to hear the 
remark: "He will that, Mr. Ben, as sure as shootinM 
I know his paces well, having trained him myself." 

As the last lap neared its end the interest had grown 
intense. All around the crowded square the leaders were 
cheered by friends and well-wishers, who urged on their 
favorites by name. Glancing down the side of the 
square, Robin More noted that Andy had dropped just 
behind " Spindle-shanks " who was a couple of yards 
back of the two leaders. He had taken a great fancy to 
the lad, and several times had offered to bet sundry sums 
on "little red-head," an act from which Grace had 
quietly restrained him. Now Robin was quite discour- 
aged. "It's all up with my little champion," he said. 
" He can never pick up that distance. He's at least ten 
feet behind!" 

" Ye niver can tell mostly how things'U and — " be- 
gan Grace dryly, starting again to quote Andy's words. 
But the quotation was cut short by Andy's Indian war- 
whoop. With a prolonged yell the lad dashed forward, 
passed the leaders like the wind, and as he crossed the 
line, flung a double hand spring, and tumbled into his 
father's arms. Looking up, unblown and with unruffled 
face, he asked : 

" Isn't there goin' to be a f ut-race here, the daay ? I'd 
like to have a hand — beg pardon ! — a fut in it, plaze ! " 

In the shouts of laughter and cheers which greeted 
Andy's performance, the arrival of " Nosey " at the line 
was for a moment forgotten; but Arthur Burbeck and 
Andy led the cheering, and it was hearty enough. 
" Spindle-shanks " came in a bad third, a classmate who 
had practiced Andy's tactics, having followed in the wake 
of such an excellent pilot, and come in second. 



70 QUAKER BEN 

The arbiter announced the names of the victors, who 
were called to the front and given the promised prizes. 
Spindle-shanks received complimentary mention; and in 
that connection Paul Owen paid a warm tribute to their 
" little friend from the back country, whose remarkable 
fleetness and endurance had surprised and delighted them 
all." He regretted that " the rules of the races would 
not allow him to do more than speak these words of ap- 
preciation and praise." 

"Step out, lad, and make your manners to the ar- 
biter! " said Arthur. Whereat Andy came forward and 
made a low bow. Everybody cheered except Spindle- 
shanks, who apparently had not yet recovered from his 
disappointment. 

" Well, my bonnie lad ! " said Robin More as the boy 
returned, " You shall not go without some sort of a 
prize. I beg you to take this souvenir with my warm 
congratulations. You have given us all a great deal of 
pleasure this afternoon." 

Thereupon he unclasped a golden anchor which he 
used as a scarf pin, and fastened it upon Andy's breast. 
The pleased bystanders applauded the act, and many 
spoke a kindly word to the boy. 

Grace shot a gratified glance at her sailor escort, and 
moved by one of those impulses which often prompt 
maidens to a graceful act, stooped and kissed the lad upon 
his bare forehead. Thenceforth, for many a year, she 
had one loyal lover, at least ; and for several days, when 
Andy washed his face, he vigilantly guarded from the 
profaning towel the spot which Grace's lips had touched. 
To the several names by which he was greeted that day, 
as "Freckles," " Tousle-top," "Red-head," his father 
added another — "Grace's Kiss ! " And this he always 
heard with a flush of satisfaction, and wore as a title of 
honor. 



CHAPTER IX 

AN INTERVIEW WITH FRANKLIN 

" Take this advertisement to the * Pennsylvania Ga- 
zette ' office," said Ben-Thee to Arthur Burbeck, " and 
ask the editor to print it twice. The office is at High 
Street, near the Market House; but you will have no 
difficulty in finding the place; for everyone knows Ben- 
jamin Franklin." 

Arthur found the philosopher with a printer's " com- 
posing stick " in his hand, standing in a working-jacket 
and leather apron at a printer's " case," setting up from 
his own manuscript an article for the "Gazette." He 
read over the paper handed him : 

" Strayed or stolen on the night of April 27th 
last, from the Eagle Tavern in Chester County, 
a good horse and valuable pack. A liberal re- 
ward will be paid to anyone who will give in- 
formation leading to the recovery of the same, 
at the store of Kersey Owen on Front Street 
near Second. Merchants having goods to send 
by pack-train to interior points, will find a fa- 
vorable opportunity by applying at the same 
address." 

Franklin handed the paper to a journeyman, and hav- 
ing receipted for the payment, he asked : 

" Have you any clue to the missing property, or any 
suspicions as to the thief? " 

" None at all, your honor ; an' A' opine it's only throw- 
in' good money ahfter bad to advertise for it. A' tried 
it wanst, some years agone, an' a burnt bairn, you know. 



72 QUAKER BEN 

shuns the fire. What can't be cured must be andured, 
says I; an' a loss like that's quite oncurable. But Mr. 
Ben-Thee didn't agree with me ; he thinks there's a chance 
to get back part of the loss ; an' a half loaf is better nor 
no bread, says he." 

Franklin's steel-gray eyes lit up with that humor which 
in him never lay far from the surface. He cast a 
pleased look upon Arthur, whose flow of proverbs not 
only amused but interested him. 

"You are a Scotchman, I observe?" he remarked 
half-inquiringly. 

" Ye might 'a' made a warse guess, sorr ; for A' 'm an 
Ulster Irishman, and that's a Scotchman wance removed. 
Though A' make the claim modestly, your honor; for a 
genuine Sawny wance telled me, whan A' said the same, 
that A' beeta mind that all * Stuarts ' are not cousins 
to the king. Howiver, my forbears were from the land 
o' cakes." 

" Well," said Franklin, laughing, " you're good 
enough a Scotchman for me. You came from the back 
country, with your master, I suppose?" 

" Aye, from the Cumberland Valley, sorr, beyant Har- 
ris's Ferry, a bit." 

"And what is the news from that quarter? You 
have had a good deal of trouble with the Proprietary 
and his agents lately, I learn." 

"An' ye larnt the truth, your honor, warse luck! 
We're no fri'nds o' the Proprietary out our way; for 
nayther Irish nor German settlers can get satisfaction 
from the Penns. An' A' reckon there's no love lost 
atween us, for the Penns have small opinion of us. We 
kape on tryin' to have them right our wrongs and clane 
up our vexed titles; but it's like goin' to the de'il for a 
dish-clout. He's rather for clutterin' nor for clanin', is 
Thomas Penn ! " 

" But, my friend, William Penn was a good man and a 
just ruler," Franklin remarked, wishing to draw out 
his visitor, whose quaint style he highly relished. 



AN INTERVIEW WITH FRANKLIN 75 

" Ah'm no denyin' that, sorr. He was all that you say, 
an' more. But Thomas Penn's a gray horse of another 
color. It's a thousand pities the Founder couldn't 'a' 
willed his private and public vartues to his sons as well 
as his property and his province! A* don't understand 
how sich a good man could be sire to sich a brood as 
his sons are! A'm thinkin' it's the auld story of the 
cuckoo-bird a-droppin' her aigs in the brown thrasher's 
nest. Maybe, as our parson says, it's a case o' raproba- 
tion instead of election accordin' to sovereign grace. 
Doesn't your honor think there are some cases that look 
amazin' like dominie may be true? Annyhow, A'm 
sure that whether the Proprietary's wan o' the elect or 
no, his head'U niver fill his father's hat ! " 

Franklin smiled, and quietly ignoring the theological 
bog into which Arthur had invited him, replied : " I'll 
not stay to defend Thomas Penn. Perhaps I may have 
as poor an opinion as yourself of his way of conducting 
our colonial affairs. But just now I am much inter- 
ested in the public defense. Indeed, you found me at 
work upon an article on that subject. How do the 
frontier settlers look on this matter ? There is no telling 
when we may be embroiled with France and Spain. 
And though Indians are now peaceful, the grasping 
policy of Thomas Penn may tgg them on to hostile acts." 

" Aye," your honor; an' most of us, both Irish an' Ger- 
mans, are well inclined to some military preparation. 
Weel soaped is half shaven, as our folk say." 

"Quite right, my man!" said Franklin, laughing. 
" An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, 
as Poor Richard says." 

"True enough, sorr. That Poor Richard must 'a' 
been a wise-like man! I've h'ard of him afore. But 
what can you do with Quakers, an' their non-resistance 
doctrine ? You can't make a silver whustle out of a pig's 
tail; an' it's ill gittin' breeks off an Highlandman — 
seein' he disn't wear 'em. The Quakers are clane for- 
nent all outlay for aven defensive warfare. That's 



74 QUAKER BEN 

foine policy, an all the warld were Quakers ! But scein' 
the heft of humanity's as crooked as a dog's hind leg 
and crookeder, we must e'en fight the de'il with fire, for 
all I can see. But A've taken too much of your honor's 
time; an' Mr. Ben-Thee warned me agin that very 
thing; for, says he, you know fine, you've got a loosely 
hung tongue, Arthur Burbeck." 

" Grood morning, my friend ! I have much enjoyed 
your visit," said Franklin. " But before you go let me 
assure you that there are some Quakers — though not 
of the strictest sort, perhaps, — who have quite reason- 
able views on the subject of colonial defense. Tell your 
master that I would be pleased to talk with him about 
public affairs on the frontier, if he will honor me with 
a visit." 

As Franklin turned back to his printer's case, and took 
up his " stick " and adjusted the leaden guide to his copy, 
his benignant face was lit up with a broad smile. In- 
deed, the workmen in the shop noticed that more than 
once, before he settled down to steady work, he softly 
laughed to himself. He had chanced upon a new and 
most interesting type of human nature in this unso- 
phisticated frontier philosopher, and his inquisitive spirit 
was putting it through a mental analysis that gave him 
high satisfaction. 

Arthur's account of his visit to Franklin's printing- 
office was racy, and greatly stimulated Ben-Thee's wish 
to meet the man. He had already laid the foundations 
of his remarkable career as a servant of his country and 
his race. He was now in the prime of his young man- 
hood, at twenty-nine. At twenty-one he had founded 
the famous Junto, a club of twelve members devoted to 
personal improvement, that became the model for scores 
of thousands of literary and debating societies in the 
United States, which ever since have been training schools 
for multitudes of young Americans. It developed into 
the first circulating library in America, which Franklin 
founded in 1731, and which continues to this day. 



AN INTERVIEW WITH FRANKLIN 75 

In 1732 he had published his " Poor Richard's Al- 
manac," which obtained an annual circulation of 10,000, 
a wonderful figure for that day, and continued with un- 
abated popularity for a quarter of a century. His 
" Way to Wealth " had appeared in 1736, in which he de- 
veloped the principles of sane, independent, industrious 
and honorable acquisition of a competence. The same 
year saw him chosen clerk of the Colonial Assembly, an 
office which he held continuously thereafter for ten years. 
The present year (1737) brought to him the royal office 
of Deputy Postmaster. For eight years he had been 
the editor and proprietor of the " Pennsylvania Gazette,'* 
which he had raised from a subscribers' list of ninety, to 
one of the most widely circulated journals in America, 
as well as a decided factor in the shaping of colonial 
opinion. 

It was not strange that this strong ahd influential pub- 
lic character, whose great destiny the knowing already 
predicted, should have attracted a man like Ben-Thee. 
After an early supper, he walked to Franklin's house 
and was cordially received. The simple yet courtly man- 
ners, the combined dignity, ease and geniality of the 
sage's bearing, which later were to charm alike courts, 
parliaments, philosophers and commoners of Europe, im- 
pressed Ben-Thee, as Franklin stood before him in his 
saga thee coat of silk and wool-mixed fiber, lined with 
silk; his long flapped waistcoat, fine homespun linen 
shirt, and broadcloth breeches lined with leather. 

And Ben-Thee with his strong, clean face, frontier 
garb and modest, soldierly bearing, at once won Frank- 
lin's interest. Both men were wigless and queueless — 
a departure from the custom of gentlemen of the period 
— wearing only their natural hair, which flowed loose 
and unpowdered toward the shoulders. 

"Thee was good enough to send me word that thee 
would like to see me," said Ben-Thee as he introduced 
himself, " as thee wished to talk with me about the pro- 
tection of our colony from possible or impending dan- 



76 QUAKER BEN 

gers. I feel pleased and honored to wait upon thee, 
and am at thy service." 

Franklin looked at his guest in surprise, — the old 
surprise that Ben-Thee rarely noted now, so common had 
it become, at a Quaker speech on a warrior's tongue. 
" No backwoods bumpkin this ! " was the sage's un- 
spoken reflection as he marked the young man's address. 
"Surely a leader of men! So much the better!" 
Then aloud — " I thank you for coming, sir," he said. 
" We are greatly exposed to both foreign and domestic 
foes. There is a chronic irritation between Spain and 
France and our mother country, which is liable to 
break out into war at any time. The English colonies 
will be the first point of attack, and they are quite vul- 
nerable. Philadelphia is especially exposed. We have 
little or no defense against ships that can easily sail up 
the Delaware to our port. Of course, our first aim 
should be to mount suitable and sufficient batterjgs to 
defend our city from such attack; and this we are plan- 
ning. And none too soon, sir — none too soon! A 
stitch in time saves nine ! " 

" As says Poor Richard ! " Ben-Thee interjected, 
smiling. 

" Aye ; Poor Richard sometimes hits the mark," Frank- 
lin rejoined, his eyes lighting up with their well-known 
merry twinkle. " Has the Almanac traveled as far as 
your inland valleys ? " 

" Indeed, yes. Next to our Bibles, we know and love 
Poor Richard's homely philosophy. And I fancy some 
of our folk are even more familiar with his sayings 
than with Scripture." 

" Well, I am pleased to know that my * pilgrim ' is 
making such 'progress.' I am more than ever con- 
vinced of the wisdom of Solomon in instructing his 
people by proverbs and parables. They carry the con- 
densed wisdom of the race. By the way, your pack-man, 
who came to the office this morning, seems to be a sort 
of backwoods Solomon, for his tongue fairly ran with 



AN INTERVIEW WITH FRANKLIN 77 

the racy proverbs of his Scotch-Irish stock. He is a 
character, I take it, and I greatly relished his talk." 

" Thee has judged rightly. I often am puzzled 
whether most to admire his wisdom, or enjoy his wit. 
He has an unfailing fund of good humor; and he has a 
son with him, a mere lad, who promises to be a chip off 
the old block. Moreover, Burbeck is as brave as he is 
witty. He will be one of your first and ablest recruits 
for frontier defense." 

"Ah! Thank you! That brings me back to my 
theme. I am fearful for the safety of our back coun- 
try. There are growing tokens of disquiet among some 
of the Indian tribes. Perhaps they have good reason 
for uneasiness in view of certain encroachments planned 
and in progress. We have a good knowledge of our 
possible means of defense here, but we are not so well 
informed about the condition of things on the frontier. 
Yet we know that it is poor tactics to defend our front 
while our rear is exposed to assault and ravage. An 
Indian war would be even worse for us than a war with 
Spain. Your life doubtless has enabled you to observe 
the state of affairs on the border and to suggest the best 
means of protecting it. I want your advice and co- 
operation; for as a good citizen and an officer of the 
Assembly, I have taken upon myself to urge some sort 
of organization. We have no regular troops, as yet. 
Will your people respond to a call to organize a militia 
service ? " 

" I have no doubt of it ! " was the prompt reply. 
" Most of our borderers, especially those who have been 
longest on the ground, and are inured to its hardships, 
can handle firearms freely and many of them exactly. 
Their manner of life has trained them to independent 
thinking and action. Many are not friendly to the In- 
dians, I regret to say; though I count the policies of 
Thomas Penn and some of his eastern advisers and 
yoke-fellows mainly responsible for the ill-feeling and 
occasional clashing between the races. This condition 



78 QUAKER BEN 

will strongly appeal to our men to organize for the de- 
fense of their families and homes. 

" The chief difficulty lies in the sparse and scattered 
population, which makes it hard to assemble at one point 
for united effort. This is only partly met by the erection, 
at convenient centers, of block-houses at which to assem- 
ble in case of attack. But the wisdom of appointing 
officers around whom public effort may at once be rallied, 
is beyond question. I not only approve, but will co- 
operate with you and other citizens in efforts to put the 
colony in a just condition of defense. Could the peril 
to our own homes be removed, many of our young men 
would flock to the seaboard to embark in any adventure 
that the government may attempt against a foreign foe." 

Nothing could have been more satisfactory to Frank- 
lin than this clear statement and vigorous endorsement 
of his general views and plans. In course of time, a 
major's commission in the Pennsylvania militia reached 
Ben-Thee; and to his great satisfaction, a commission 
as ensign was forwarded through him to Arthur Burbeck. 
Both men bore their new honors without pretense, and 
assumed them without parade, but with a due sense of 
their importance and responsibility in case of issues which 
they hoped might never arise. 

The conversation drifted into other themes; especially 
the need of studying the French and Spanish languages, 
which Franklin had just begun, — perhaps in view of the 
close relations of i^ericans to men of those tongues, 
and the utility of personal communication with them. 
When at last Ben-Thee withdrew, there had been formed 
between these two congenial spirits a bond of mutual 
respect and friendship, which was not broken until both 
were old men. 



CHAPTER X 

BEN-THEE STRIKES A TRAIL 

Having determined to return to the valley, Ben-Thee 
was much exercised as to his duty in view of certain 
facts within his possession. He felt the need of skilled 
advice, and the morning found him in the office of Angus 
Reagan, Esq. The clear, acute mind and strong upright 
character of this gentleman had greatly impressed him; 
and his own judgment was fortified by the confidence 
of Father Owen, whose legal adviser he was. 

"To what do 1 owe the honor of this visit?'* Mr. 
Reagan inquired ; for he at once discerned that the young 
man had something to communicate. There was an un- 
dertone of anxiety in the inquiry, which disappeared when 
Ben-Thee broached the object of his visit. 

Ben-Thee began by relating the loss of his pack-horse 
and its load at Sie Eagle Tavern. " The next morning," 
he continued, " I started out to find traces of the animal. 
Of course, it was not a mere case of a stray, for the pack, 
which had been taken off at night, as usual, had disap- 
peared with the horse, which showed the hand of a 
thief. It happened that, on the evening before, the 
horse had lost a part of a fore shoe, which had not been 
replaced. I could therefore trail him with considerable 
ease by the peculiar impression made by the hoof. I also 
marked the tracks of a horse accompanying him, which 
I readily identified by his stride as those of my own 
horse, Major, who, however, was in the stable. On in- 
quiry I learned from one of our men, Arthur Burbeck, 
that he showed marks of having been used during the 
night, by whom, he could not even guess. Jan Cole, the 
other pack-man, had been on guard and had slept in the 



8o QUAKER BEN 

stable. Burbeck felt sure he had not left the inn, though 
Jan confessed he had been up late drinking with guests, 
and perhaps had not slept as lightly as common. The 
two sailors who were a part of our company were in their 
rooms, and left after an early breakfast. 

" I followed the course of the thieves for a mile and 
a half westward, where it diverged to the southeast. 
I did not keep the trail far in that direction, but enough 
to show that the parties were making toward the river 
and the city. At this point Major's tracks separated 
from the other and he returned at a brisk pace to the inn. 

" I resolved to say nothing of my discoveries and in- 
ferences to my companions, for a still hunt is apt to be 
a successful hunt, and I dread unjust suspicions. But 
I conferred with Mr. Oster as to what it were best to 
do, since, according to our engagement, he was princi- 
pally concerned in the loss. He thought it better not 
to risk further expense by delay in what might prove a 
fruitless search, and requested that the train push on. 

" Ere we crossed the Schuylkill we were attacked by 
a band of robbers who, finding us prepared for an ad- 
venture, withdrew after a skirmish, in which at least 
two of their party were hurt. When we reached the 
river we saw a vessel under full sail down stream. Ap- 
parently it had not long raised anchor. As some of our 
assailants were in sailor garb, this led me to associate 
the two seamen at the inn the night before with this 
vessel, and with our attack in the woods, and with the 
theft of the pack-horse." 

Ben-Thee paused to allow Mr. Reagan to bring up 
the notes he had been taking. " Your conclusion seems 
a just one," the lawyer remarked. " Did your scouting 
stop there? It is a pity you could not have followed it 
to the end!" 

" I would certainly have been at a disadvantage," 
said Ben-Thee smiling, "had I tried my backwoods' 
tactics on the water, an element that leaves no trail. 
Moreover, I am so ignorant of all manner of sea-craft 



BEN-THEE STRIKES A TRAIL 8i 

that I would doubt my skill in anything pertaining to 
ships and seamen. Yet I carefully noted the style and 
makeup of the vessel, marking points after my own 
land-lubber fashion; and I think I could go so far as 
to identify her." 

" We may test that, by and by," Mr. Reagan ob- 
served, " for it appears to me an important point. Is 
this all your case ? " 

" No ; not quite. I have what strikes me as probably 
another link in the chain of evidence. During the May 
Fair I dropped into a booth in which, along with sundry 
foreign goods, was an assortment of furs, to which nat- 
urally I gave special attention. Imagine my surprise 
when I saw among these some of my own captures, for 
I have a private mark — a sort of totem sign — which 
I put upon my choice skins. Not only so, but these were 
some of the furs that made up the pack carried by the 
horse stolen at Eagle Inn, which furs I had sold to Mr. 
Oster!" 

" Stop a moment ! " Mr. Reagan exclaimed. " Repeat 
that, please! That is a most important fact." 

" So I think," said Ben-Thee. " But there is more to 
follow. I bought a number of the furs having my mark, 
and sent them to Mother Lydia and the girls. They arc 
thus where they are available for testimony, if needed. 
While bartering for these goods, I made another dis- 
covery. The face of the man who acted as salesman 
seemed familiar to me, but as he was dressed as a fron- 
tier hunter, I did not think it strange, for I might have 
met him somewhere in the back country. At last, how- 
ever, it flashed upon me that he was one of the two 
seamen who stopped with us over night at Eagle Inn! 
Before I left the booth I was confirmed in this belief." 

" That adds another link to your chain ! " Mr. Reagan 
remarked. " Your case is gathering interest as it goes." 

" I have more to tell thee. The first person I saw in 
the booth, as I entered, was Mr. Alfred Oster, the agent 
of Windall and Bete with whom I had made the contract 



82 QUAKER BEN 

for bringing the pack-train to Philadelphia. He was 
talking with a handsome young person dressed as a naval 
officer, who appeared to have some sort of interest in 
the booth. At least, the salesman several times spoke 
to him as though in consultation. In fact, I inferred 
from the peculiar interest that Mr. Oster expressed in 
some of the sales that he also was personally interested 
therein. Perhaps there is nothing suspicious in that, as 
young merchants are apt to try ventures in the markets 
at Fair-time. Still, when one is * scouting ' as you term 
these disconnected observations, he must mark all indica- 
tions out of the ordinary. One can never tell what may 
prove valuable, or where the gathered facts may fit in. 

" By the way, I became greatly interested in Ostcr's 
friend. As Oster was acquainted with my sisters and 
Miss Rhoda, he ventured to present the young officer to 
the ladies. He made a pleasant impression. His man- 
ners and address are polished and gentlemanly and his 
whole bearing frank and engaging. It was the begin- 
ning of an acquaintance which has, I greatly fear, grown 
into friendship, and it may be a warmer feeling between 
him and Grace Owen. Perhaps it is but a passing fancy ; 
yet I confess I have been anxious." 

" What name does this young man bear ? " asked Mr. 
Reagan. 

" His name is Robin More. He is an officer on a 
vessel called the * Heather,' of which his father is the 
captain, and which is anchored in the Delaware below 
the city, having come to the Fair with a cargo of Span- 
ish and French goods from the West Indies. He is cer- 
tainly a well-bred, manly and intelligent youth; a 
Scotchman, like yourself; at least, he says his father is. 
I confess I have taken a great liking to him personally. 
But—'' 

" Have you seen his ship ? " Mr. Reagan interrupted. 

" No ; he has invited me to visit it with him ; but as 
yet I have not done so." 

" Then I advise you to go before you leave the city. 



BEN-THEE STRIKES A TRAIL 83 

You said a while ago that you carefully noted the vessel 
on the Schuylkill from whose crew you supposed the 
men had come who attacked you. Do you think you 
would recognize her if you saw her again? *' 

" I think I would." 

The lawyer, while talking, had been taking from a 
drawer a small bundle of sketches. He selected a draw- 
ing of a sloop, and laid it before Ben-Thee. 

"That is not it!*' 

Another sketch followed, a schooner-rigged vessel. 

"That is not it!'' 

A third was laid down. Ben-Thee examined it care- 
fully. " I cannot be certain, of course," he said, " for 
I am so unfamiliar with seagoing craft. But I would 
say that the ship which we saw was of that type — be- 
tween fifty and sixty feet long." 

Mr. Reagan reversed the drawing and read aloud the 
endorsement on the back : " * The brig Heather, Alexan- 
der More, Master. Applies for letters of marque, as a 
privateer against the vessels and property of Spain.' 
There follows a note in my own hand : * In the West 
Indies trade; is suspected of being or having been a 
smuggler; but loyal to the colonies. The commission 
is approved.' 

" That looks very much as if you had run down your 
quarry. May all your scoutings be as successful as this ! 
The * Heather,' you observe, has applied for a warrant 
as a privateer, and the case was referred to me for ex- 
amination and advice. I had concluded to recommend 
the commission. But your revelations have put a differ- 
ent phase upon the case, and I shall hold it for further 
advisement, and probably recommend that it be refused. 
It is most discreditable that the ship's crew should turn 
land robbers, and prey upon our own people." 

" Yet there is this to say on the other side," interposed 
Ben-Thee. "Suppose the petition be refused? What 
will result? The applicants have made a step forward 
toward respectability and social regularity. It is an cf- 



84 QUAKER BEN 

fort to leave all disreputable ways and enter an honorable 
occupation. Is there not danger that thee may drive 
them into open piracy by thy refusal of a warrant? I 
believe the young man wishes and is determined to escape 
from his inherited life and surroundings. The father 
for the son's sake, if for nothing else, shares this pur- 
pose. I cannot conceive why, pending this application, 
they should go into such a criminal act as an assault upon 
our train. But I suspect that it may have been brought 
about by some deft management of Oster. I venture 
to plead for the charitable construction of the case, and 
if possible a favorable examination." 

" Well," said the lawyer, " you are as good at plead- 
ing as at scouting. Your view of the fascinating char- 
acter of Robin More, is true, without doubt. He has 
cast his spell even upon you! But I sympathize with 
your view of opening the door rather than barring it 
against men who are turning toward a worthy career." 

" Thank thee ! There is one other feature in our case, 
which we have not yet considered — the relation of Al- 
fred Oster to all these conditions. Will thee give me 
thy legal opinion on that ? " 

"I do not think that I am yet prepared to do that. 
I wish first to hear whither your thoughts are leading." 

" I will speak them with perfect freedom," Ben-Thee 
rejoined. " Of course, my communication is a confi- 
dential one, as between attorney and client. Should my 
suspicions prove ill-founded, as I trust they may, thee 
will not let my words prejudice thee against an inno- 
cent man. I believe that Oster is in some way mixed up 
with all that is criminal in the case. He met the two 
men of the * Heather * at Eagle Inn, and arranged with 
them the theft of the horse and pack. He accompanied 
the person or persons who had come to receive the stolen 
goods, and set them on their way to the river and the 
ship. He arranged with the two sailors the attack upon 
the train, intending to stampede the horses and secure a 
large amount of plunder. His own resistance was a pre- 



BEN-THEE STRIKES A TRAIL 85 

tense; the particulars were all arranged beforehand. 
He tried to divert and separate me from the train and its 
keepers; and had I not been fortunate enough to catch 
a view of some of the assailants ambushed in the deep 
woods, his plan might have succeeded. It was a bit of 
excellent acting, but it failed. He shares with the free- 
booters their illicit gains, and has acted as a procurer 
for them. He probably has been carrying on his 
nefarious business for some time, and is largely respon- 
sible for the mysterious losses of which merchants have 
complained lately. And yet, I would not have my opin- 
ion declared openly and him brought to justice until the 
proof is beyond doubt. He has a worthy mother, a 
widow, and an amiable sister of whom he is passionately 
fond ; and I verily believe that his rogueries are prompted 
by his wish to provide liberally for them." 

" Well, Mr. Ben," remarked Mr. Reagan, as he rose, 
and gathered his notes together, "you would make an 
excellent lawyer, as well as an admirable scout. I can, 
as now viewed, see no flaw in your reasoning upon the 
facts in hand. I will take care to do nothing without 
your consent, unless manifestly compelled by your in- 
terests and the demands of justice, in your absence. As 
to the last point raised by you, the relation of Oster to 
his mother and sister, that is the sad factor which is 
sure to appear in all such cases. It is, indeed, a hard 
fling of fate! And yet, notwithstanding what you say 
about his apparent devotion to them, my long experience 
leads me to say that when you probe to the core of 
criminals like Oster, you are sure to find sheer selfish- 
ness and self-indulgence, not love, the goading passion of 
their lives." 



CHAPTER XI 

A CONFLICT ON DECK AND A VICTORY 

The flame that had been kindled so suddenly within 
Robin More, burned with an intensity that greatly sur- 
prised him. At first he had not recognized it. It was 
a pleasant sensation that the meeting with Grace Owen 
had awakened, and a new one. His roving life had kept 
him largely apart from women; and the few whom he 
had met were of the sort that stirred within him no 
sentiment beyond that of a passing interest. But the 
emotion that Grace had aroused was such as he had never 
felt, had never expected to feel. And now he had set 
himself face to face with it as something he must meet 
and dispose of — if he could! 

The brig " Heather " lay at anchor well below the old 
city bounds, not far from where the Schuylkill enters the 
Delaware. Captain More Wished to keep an inconvenient 
visiting distance between his ship and the town. It was 
one of those days toward the close of May on which, 
in this climate, the sun opens out with all the fervor of 
mid-summer. The greening banks on each side of the 
great stream were already fresh with the new spring 
verdure. On the nearby western shore the wild flowers 
chequered the grass, and birds were athrob with mating 
songs and nesting labors. There was little breeze; only 
that gentle breathing of the air that stirs along the water's 
surface. The lipping of the stream as the brig swung 
lazily to the water's movements, played monotonously 
against the hull. Sailors were sleeping, or lounging, or 
fluttering about the ship's furniture, putting to rights 
what already seemed to be faultlessly spick and span. 

Robin More walked the deck, slowly, soberly, noting 



A CONFLICT ON DECK 87 

now and then in a mechanical way the affairs around him, 
for it was his watch, and the vessel's discipline was rather 
that of a man-of-war than of a merchant-man. He was 
pondering the most important question that he had ever 
yet been forced to consider — his feeling for Grace 
Owen. Was this that Love, upon which the poets and 
writers in the little library in his small cabin, had given 
him some light? It could not be! That was quite a 
different emotion from the passion which possessed him. 
For even their most fervent words were tame expressions 
of what he felt when he thought of Grace. A few weeks 
ago he had not known her. That seemed strange, too! 
And now, there was no sacrifice he would not make for 
her; no suffering he would not bear for her; no task 
he would not undertake for her; nothing he would not 
do for-, her — nothing, within the reach of honor! 
That was even stranger. What had come over him? 
Was he quite himself ? 

Yet, what could it all come to? Surely there never 
was a vainer hope than that Grace Owen would think 
of him as he thought of her. Not that he felt himself 
unequal to, or unworthy of her. He had tried to live 
a clean and honorable life. He felt that within him 
which could rise to the plane of even her pure and noble 
nature — if she could be with him to inspire and aid 
him. Ay, and that he would try to do, come what may ! 
The very love he felt for Grace had already pledged 
him to a better life. 

Even if it were possible to win her love, could he 
ask her or expect her to forsake her home — and such 
a home ! — to share life — and such a life ! — with him ? 
Would it be honorable, even if he could gain the consent 
of her parents and family, to ask her to make such a 
sacrifice? If he loved her truly, surely not! He would 
give her up; yes, he must abandon all thoughts of Grace 
Owen! 

Ah ! that was easier said than done. It would be like 
giving up the larger part of himself. That mysterious 



88 QUAKER BEN 

heat in the blood, that fervor in the brain which con- 
sumed him, could it be cooled at once, and by a bare 
resolution ? To him, at that moment, there was but one 
woman in all the world. She was Grace Owen. Life 
would be a blank failure or a bright success as he could 
spend it apart from her or with her. Yet he must give 
— her — up ! 

There was a catch in his throat, a spasmodic move- 
ment, a choking sensation, as though he were about to 
weep. " Fool ! " he exclaimed, in a rush of indignation 
at himself. "Would you cry for a girl's love? For 
one who cares less for you than for the dog she fondles ? 
Shame on your manhood! Put away this folly, and 
be yourself again ! " 

He had paused in his walk during the latter part of 
his soliloquy, and leaned over the vessel's rail. But in 
a moment he drew back with a passionate gesture, and 
resumed his walk, not slowly and soberly but with 
quick, impatient pace. Just then his father came on deck. 
He stood a moment unobserved, and watched the young 
man with keen interest. As Robin turned, he saw 
the Captain, and his hand went to his hat in salute. His 
father joined him and the two paced a round of the 
short walk together in silence. 

"Well?" said the Captain, at last, "what is in the 
wind ? " He knew Robin's moods, and that there was 
something seething within him that would soon find ut- 
terance. 

" Father," the youth began, " have you heard aught 
from your petition for a commission as a privateer for 
the 'Heather'?" 

" Not a word, further than that it was referred to 
a legal expert for examination and report." 

" Have you any idea of how the matter will end? " 

" I hope favorably. I know no reason why it should 
be refused. The ' Heather ' is a tidy craft with a good 
crew and four guns, and the Spaniards are threatening 
mischief. The province needs some such vessels to pro- 



A CONFLICT ON DECK 89 

tect its coasts and the approaches to its harbor. For, 
in case of war, the home government will be too busy 
with its own plans to give ships and men and money 
to defend the colonies. It will be more likely to call 
on us to aid its general schemes. May I ask if you 
have any special motive for anxiety in the matter at 
this time?'' 

" I cannot say that I have. At least, there is little be- 
yond the reason which I have heretofore urged fully, 
and which you were good enough to consent to act upon. 
Only, if I may speak confidentially, I confess that I have 
been somewhat uneasy about the movements of Lieu- 
tenant Braun. There is something in his manner that I 
do not like, though I cannot clearly explain it or describe 
it. There is a reserve, a seeming effort to hide some- 
thing, as though he were pushing some secret plot or 
transaction for his own private benefit, whose nature and 
details he is concealing from you, and, of course, from 
me. I have so little confidence in his integrity as a 
man, and his devotion to any interest but his own, that 
I thought it my duty at least to mention my suspicions." 

Captain More was slow in replying. At last he spoke. 
" I am not surprised at what you say. Perhaps it can- 
not be otherwise. I would not wish it to be otherwise on 
your part. I simply ask you and urge you to keep strictly 
to your present attitude." 

" I will certainly do so ; I think you may depend upon 
that. Though I confess I have been anxious lest he 
might commit us, even if he has not already done so, 
to some act that may thwart our plans to rectify wholly 
the status of our brig, and give us a better standing be- 
fore the government and — and — persons of the 
strictest principles." He hesitated and blushed at these 
closing words, and cast a sidelong glance at his father. 

But the Captain did not wince; nor did he show 
any signs of anger or disapproval. He smiled as he 
asiced, " Have you said all you care to ? Is there noth- 
ing else on your mind?" Captain More was a shrewd 



90 QUAKER BEN 

observer of human nature. He had noted that for 
several weeks Robin had been mingling rather freely 
with some of the young people of Philadelphia, some- 
thing that heretofore he had not done. A little inquiry 
had acquainted him with the facts as to the persons in 
whom he was most interested; for the young man took 
no pains to conceal his movements. He had always been 
open in all his acts, for dissimulation was alien to his 
nature. 

" Thank you ! " Robin replied ; " I think I have said 
all I care to say just now, or need to say. Unless — " 

"Well?" 

" You have been a young man yourself, sir, and have 
encouraged me to be frank with you about all my feel- 
ings and relations. Perhaps I ought to say that I have 
lately met some most attractive young women. At least, 
they have interested me more than any of the sex I have 
heretofore met. Their personal character, their family 
connections, their standing in society have brought out 
more clearly to my mind and made me more sensitive to 
those whisperings and rumors about the * Heather' as 
a smuggler, and have made me more desirous of hasten- 
ing your efforts for a privateer's commission. I would 
count it a serious disappointment were we to fail. 
Much as my heart was set upon it before, it is even 
more so now." 

" Very well, my lad, I am glad you have been so frank 
with me and hope you will always be so. Be sure that 
I will leave nothing undone to carry out my purpose con- 
cerning the * Heather.* As to Lieutenant Braun, I will 
look after him a little more closely." The Captain 
touched his hat in token that the interview was ended, and 
as Robin saluted, he walked away. 

Somehow, the little talk had eased the young man's 
disturbed mind. True, it had settled nothing. But this 
it had done, — and to him that seemed much at the time, 
— it had taken or seemed to take a step forward in the 
plan to make himself more worthy of Grace Owen. He 



A CONFLICT ON DECK 91 

had indeed settled the matter; — every wise and honor- 
able consideration required him to abandon all serious 
thoughts of her. He would do so! He had done so. 
But — he would not cease to make it one great aim of 
his being, henceforth, to be worthy of her. That, at 
least, was not beyond his reach. That would bring no 
injustice to her. This reflection soothed him. The con- 
flict of passion that had raged within him quieted down. 
A subdued melancholy fell upon him. But he had the 
consciousness of well-doing. He felt that he had gained 
a victory over selfishness and folly, and the quickened 
sense of worthy manhood that results therefrom. 

A few days after, Captain More received a note, ad- 
vising him that his application for a letter-of -marque 
commission had been referred to the undersigned (Angus 
Reagan) for examination and report; that it had thus 
far been considered favorably, but before final action 
it was important that he have an interview with Captain 
More. Would he do him the honor to call soon ? 

The Captain handed the note to Robin. ** I cannot 
go," he said. " Indeed, I believe it is well that I should 
not. You have met Mr. Reagan, I have heard you say, 
at the house of your new friends the Owens. You must 
act for me in this matter. I have no idea what it may 
be. Some lawyer's technical quizzing, perhaps, which 
I do not care to face. You can do so freely." 

" I will gladly serve in this matter. Have you in- 
structions ? " 

" No. Tell him the truth as you know it. I leave all 
to your prudence and candor." 

When Robin entered the lawyer's office, and explained 
his errand, Mr. Reagan replied, " I was particularly anx- 
ious to meet your father. But I daresay you will answer 
my purpose. Of course you know of the application for 
a privateer's commission ? " 

" Fully." 

" And are you in sympathy with it ? " 

" Entirely so." 



92 QUAKER BEN 

"You will pardon me for mentioning this, but are 
you aware that there are suspicions that your brig has 
not always held to legitimate trading, but has at times 
made free with the King's revenue laws ? " 

" I am, sir, and not without good reason." 

Mr. Reagan started. He was almost thrown off his 
guard by this frank confession. Seeing his surprise, 
Robin continued : " My father bade me tell the truth, 
sir; and as far as it may be required to form your 
judgment of the question before you, I wish to do so. 
I rely upon your honor to use the information, given 
freely and confidentially, simply for that purpose. But 
let me say, sir, that whatever the past has been, it is 
— the past! My father wishes to serve his King and 
country loyally and most efficiently. He apprehends that 
the simple question is : Can the ' Heather ' with its Cap- 
tain and crew, do this in the emergency rapidly ap- 
proaching, indeed already upon us, and will they do 
it ? I am authorized to assure you that they will." 

"If it were to depend on you, my young friend, I 
believe you. But — " 

" Excuse me, sir : you can equally depend on my father. 
He has his faults, no doubt; for Scotchmen are not all 
saints. But, sir, I never knew him to tell a lie ; and when 
his honor is once pledged, his word is as trustworthy as 
Scripture." 

The lawyer was plainly gratified. He smiled at the 
reference to Scotch sainthood, and bowed affirmatively, 
as though he had had some experience in that. He looked 
over his notes, and said, " Passing that point as satis- 
factory, there is one matter about which I would like to 
be satisfied before I proceed further. Can you tell me 
the whereabouts of the * Heather * on the 26th and 27th 
of April last?" At the question Mr. Reagan lifted his 
eyes from his notes and turned them suddenly and sharply 
upon the young man's face. 

Robin, though surprised at such a question, never 



A CONFLICT ON DECK 93 

changed countenance. " I cannot, sir," he replied, re- 
turning the lawyer's gaze with a look as steady as his 
own. " I suppose she was at her anchorage in the Dela- 
ware, or not far therefrom. But I cannot speak with 
absolute certainty. At the time you name, and for a few 
days before, my father and I were off on a hunting trip 
in the upper regions of the Delaware. It was an ex- 
cursion we had long planned, and leaving the ship in 
charge of the first officer, Mr. Braun, we went off upon 
our trip, returning just in time for the Fair. I can- 
not therefore locate the * Heather ' with absolute exact- 
ness from my own knowledge. But, if it will be any 
satisfaction to you, I can get the desired facts, for her 
log will be pretty sure to show them." 

"I thank you, sir, for your offer; and if you will 
do me the favor to send the information I wish on 
this point, I think I will be able to complete my re- 
port." 

As Robin left the office, Mr. Reagan followed him 
with a strangely perplexed air. " Either he is the most 
accomplished scoundrel I ever met," he soliloquized, " or 
a thoroughly honest and most disingenuous young man. 
Which will it turn out to be ? " 

The next day a sailor left the following note at his 
office: 

" Sir : I beg leave to say that the log of the ' Heather ' 
for the dates you asked about, shows the following: 
* April 26, 1737. Left moorings in the Delaware and 
sailed up the Schuylkill. Landed at the ferry and took 
in wood, fresh water, some provisions and freight. Re- 
mained over night. The mate in charge of brig, as Mr. 
Braun was back in the country on a piece of business 
about freight. April 27th. A squad of men were out on 
shore-leave and got into a fight. Jack Ryan and Bill 
Griffiths, seamen, were pretty badly hurt. Went back to 
moorings on the Delaware. April 28th. Captain and 



94 QUAKER BEN 

Lieutenant More returned from their hunting trip after 
seven days' absence.' 
" I have the honor to be 

" Very truly yours, 

" Robin More." 
" Mr. Angus Reagan." 

Leaving the astute lawyer to work upon his legal prob- 
lem for the present, let us glance at the early life of his 
correspondent. For we shall have occasion hereafter to 
trace some features in the development of the young 
man's character and destiny. 

When three years old, he had been placed in charge 
of a childless widow of excellent character whose home 
was in Chester, a port below Philadelphia convenient 
for Captain More, who, after his various voyages, made 
Mrs. Naomi Bell's house his headquarters. This good 
woman who was piously inclined, looked after the reli- 
gious as well as the secular education of the lad. Thus 
Robin grew up with a better spiritual training than was 
apt to fall to the sons of sea rovers Hke Captain More. 

When Robin was old enough to go to sea, being of 
an active and adventurous temperament, he went aboard 
his father's vessel, and in due time became a skilled sea- 
man and navigator. At the period when he appears in 
this tale, he had fairly won his way to the place of 
second officer, and was much esteemed and respected by 
all the crew. Though considerate and affectionate in 
his private relations. Captain More was to Robin the 
same impartially rigid disciplinarian that he was toward 
all his subordinates. Thus the young man, unspoiled by 
indulgence, developed a wholesome and sturdy manhood 
upon his natural character. 

It seemed to be, but was not (taking men as they go) 
a bit inconsistent that the father, who was by no means 
as clean and upright in morals as the son, highly disap- 
proved Robin's free opinions about religion, which he 
suspected, but was not sure thereof. For Robin differed 



A CONFLICT ON DECK 95 

from many young sceptics in modestly withholding rather 
than airing and boasting of his unbelief. The Captain 
was one of the type of men who compounded with their 
conscience for rather loose living, by strict orthodoxy in 
believing. For, whatever of his early history lay in mys- 
tery, there was no doubt that he was a Scotchman of 
the true blue Presbyterian sort, though he readily allowed 
that his principles had not borne their legitimate fruit 
in his own life. He stipulated with Mrs. Bell, when 
Robin was left in her charge, that he should be taught 
his " questions," by which he meant the Westminster 
Shorter Catechism; and that the lad had managed to 
master. 

As a mariner and an officer of an armed trading vessel, 
Robin More had found a full, if not sufficient, field for 
his active nature. If there were in the ship's career oc- 
casional transactions that seemed to transgress the 
bounds of lawful traffic — well, it was an easy age; in- 
deed, a rather loose and ill regulated one in matters of 
maritime law and morals. Questions of revenue serv- 
ice, and the rights of traditional enemies, as the Spaniards 
and French, were loosely defined even when allowed at 
all. A trading vessel then could go far across the bound 
of legitimate commerce as now understood, and never 
be thought the worse. 



CHAPTER XII 

THOMAS PENN's INDIAN WALK PURCHASE 

Thomas Penn's plans for the day-and-a-half walk that 
should confirm the treaty known as the " Walking Pur- 
chase," were completed. His surveyors and agents had 
made a rough survey of the proposed route, choosing the 
shortest and easiest trail. This they had laid out through 
the woods by blazed trees to catch the walkers' eyes. 
Where the forests had made obstructions, these had been 
cleared away to allow free and rapid movement. 

September 19th, 1737, the day fixed for commencing 
the walk, was far enough on in the early autumn to give 
to the trees and shrubs some touch of the bright coloring 
that marks American woods. The gum trees showed 
broad patches of red among their branches. The 
sumachs wore a yet deeper hue. The lance-like leaves 
of chestnuts were being mottled with flecks of yellowy- 
brown. The glossy leaves of the tulip-poplar were don- 
ning their bright yellow, and the white-oak leaves were 
slowly winning their rich red-brown. All over the 
fields and open places in the forests and along the banks 
of streams, the briery berry patches and clumps of cer- 
tain low shrubs and vines were already aglow with fervid 
autumnal hues, while golden-rods lifted their plumes five 
or six feet high, or flared their yellow bunched heads 
amid the grasses. 

The scenery was permeated with that general atmos- 
phere which indicates the nearing close of the summer's 
activities, and the summing up of nature's energies for 
the harvest of nuts and later fruits. It was truly a 
pleasure to be abroad in the open upon such a day, to 



PENN'S INDIAN WALK PURCHASE 97 

feel the exquisite touch of the ripening year, and breathe 
in the benevolent spirit of this beautiful season. 

From Pennsbury, Thomas Penn set forth early on 
horseback with a company of his surveyors and others 
for the rendezvous and starting point, the Friends' Meet- 
ing House at Wrightstown. Lady Jenks accompanied 
them, mounted on a coal black colt, and having a couple 
of spaniel dogs caracoling at her side. These made 
spirited diversions now and then, and filled the way with 
merry yelpings, adding thus to the picturesqueness of 
the cavalcade as it wended the rude road through the 
virgin country. 

The lady was in lively mood, and her high spirits over- 
flowed upon the party. " How far will you go along 
with your Argonauts?" she asked Thomas Penn who 
rode beside her, nodding to the surveyors who were 
in front. "All the way?" 

" It takes an imagination as vivid as yours," Thomas 
Penn replied, without answering the question, " to 
transform those sedate and Quaker-clad business men 
into such heroic personages as the famous Greek com- 
rades of Jason." 

" Oh, not at all ! That's quite manifest ! " the lady re- 
joined. " Isn't this an expedition after a golden fleece ? 
And I dare be sworn Father William's Indian lambs 
will be well shorn before you all get back." 

" For shame, Lady Jenks ! " Penn exclaimed ; but in a 
tone which indicated that his indignation at the sarcasm 
was not as keen as one might have looked for; a fact 
which the lady doubtless had discounted. Perhaps, in- 
deed, he may have secretly taken it as a compliment. 

"'Why for shame?" she retorted. "Mr. Thomas 
Penn's Proprietary shears are of the sharpest. And 
what measure of sharpness his keen intellect does not 
supply, his shrewd surveyors can well supplement. — 
Here, Towscr ! Ho, Teaser ! " She interrupted her 
comments by calling to her dogs, who had made an ex- 
cursion into the woods after a bevy of squirrels. 



98 QUAKER BEN 

" Back, you foolish boys ! Don't you know better than 
to be chasing idle varmints like squirrels, while you^re 
on the nobler service of escorting a lady? That's not 
comely manners, my laddies ! " She leaned over in her 
saddle, and feigned to rebuke the dogs, who had run 
back obediently to her call, and walked soberly along 
with drooping tails, as though they had really quite un- 
derstood. 

" They must enjoy such a run as that ! " Thomas Penn 
remarked, as he cast a friendly look upon the beautiful 
creatures panting from their hot chase. His reputation 
for enjoying occasional escapades from the beaten track 
of social order and propriety, may have quickened his 
sympathy with such animal outbreaks into primitive 
wildness. 

"You mean the squirrels?" the lady said. "Yes; I 
fancy they feel secure enough leaping there from branch 
to branch, quite out of reach of their pursuers. Pretty 
things they are ! I think I would not mind such a wild 
free life in the wide woods myself. Are men really so 
very much happier than squirrels, after all, I won- 
der? 

"Oh! You didn't mean the squirrels?" she con- 
tinued. "It was the dogs you were thinking about? 
Well, ye-es ; I see ! That is the male instinct — the love 
to pursue and run down things. No doubt it's pleasant 
for the dogs. But how about the game? Now, this 
Indian hunt of yours to-day, I fancy, must be quite ex- 
hilarating; especially if you succeed in getting the Golden 
Fleece! But it wouldn't be so enjoyable, would it? — 
if the Indians were to turn Argonauts, and seek for 
Golden Fleeces, or — oogh! — horrible to think of! — " 
and she put her gloved hand to her beautiful yellow 
tresses. 

" Scalps, I suppose you mean by your circumlocutory 
figure of speech," Mr. Penn interjected. " But there's 
no fear. Lippiwinzo, Combush, Tishecunk, Tuneam, and 
their Delaware tribesmen are not of the scalp-taking 



PENN'S INDIAN WALK PURCHASE 99 

variety of Indians. They are too careful of their own 
precious scalps ! " 

" Ay; that may be," was the rejoinder, " and I'm sure 
I hope so! But who can tell when even they may re- 
vert to their primitive savagery, and like my spaniels 
here, — and mayhap some wiser folk we wot of — fly off 
into unlooked-for freaks of native wildness? " 

In such light conversation, though shot through with 
a vein of sarcastic wisdom deftly muffled, the early morn- 
ing hour soon wore away, and the party arrived at 
Wrightstown Meeting House. Here a group of those 
interested in the forthcoming walk, were gathered near a 
large chestnut tree in the Durham road, a few rods from 
the Meeting House. The county sheriff, Timothy 
Smith, was there in charge of the affair. The three 
expert woodsmen and hunters employed by the Proprie- 
tary to pace off the purchase, were there, — Thomas 
Marshall, Solomon Jennings, and James Yates. Mar- 
shall, the principal one, had diligently trained himself 
in walking, determined to win the; valuable reward 
(five hundred acres of rich land near the mouth of the 
Little Lehigh, promised to whomsoever should cover the 
longest stretch of distance), or — as he expressed it — 
"lose his life in the attempt." And there, too, was 
Louper Jan, on hand as a reserve walker in case his 
services should be required. Thus was explained his sud- 
den abandonment of Ben-Thee's pack-train — Penn had 
employed him for this service to hold in reserve his skill 
as a land-louper. So much advantage, at least, would 
he get from Ben-Thee! 

With the party from Pennsbury had come the surveyor- 
general Benjamin Eastburn, and deputy-surveyors 
Nicholas Scull and John Chapman. These men were to 
ride in front of the walkers, piloting the way to save 
loss of time through hesitation in making out the blazed 
path; which they could well do as they had made pre- 
liminary surveys of the entire route. Several young In- 
dian braves were also present, among them Combush and 



322159B 



loo QUAKER BEN 

Neepaheilomon, deputed by the Delawares to see that all 
was conducted fairly according to agreement. On the 
part of the Proprietary, James Steel, Jr., nephew and 
clerk of the Receiver-General, came to report the pro- 
ceeding. 

Sheriff Smith had already sent in advance pack horses 
carrying provisions, liquors and bedding for the comfort 
of the walkers and the assistants. No precaution was 
lacking to preserve the walkers from needless waste of 
energy, and to tone them up to get the best work out of 
their muscles. 

Satisfied that all was in such shape as he wished, 
Thomas Penn gave word to the sheriff to start the Walk, 
and having watched the first dash for a little while, rode 
back to Pennsbury with Lady Jenks and their personal 
attendants. Meanwhile, the three walkers had set off at 
a rapid pace. It seemed more like a foot-race than a 
measured walk such as the Indians had calculated upon. 
Yates, at the start, won a decided lead; and this alarm- 
ing Marshall, lest he might lose his coveted prize, sent 
him forward at such a pace that at once the Indian 
Tuneam cried out, " It is not fair ! " 

On the party pushed, following the surveyed trail 
through the forests. A little after one o'clock they had 
crossed the Lehigh River (then better known as the West 
Branch of the Delaware), at a ford below the present 
site of Bethlehem. Their course now lay northwest. A 
glance at a map of Eastern Pennsylvania and the course 
of the Delaware therein will show the policy of this; 
for the farther to the northwest the stopping point might 
be, the wider would be the space and the larger would 
be the area between that and the point where the base 
line drawn therefrom would touch the river. 

At 6:15 p. M., when the walk stopped for the day, the 
athletes were so exhausted, that Marshall affirmed that 
he could not have held out much longer. The pack 
horses were on hand and were promptly unloaded. Fires 
were kindled in the woods, and refreshments were pre- 



PENN^S INDIAN WALK PURCHASE loi 

pared for the walking experts, though no provision was 
made for the Indians. However, the night camp was but 
a half mile distant from an Indian town called 
Hockyondoquay. The shoutings of an Indian " cantico " 
held there were plainly heard, and to this place Combush 
directed his steps, his associate representatives having left 
the company several hours before, thoroughly disgruntled 
and disgusted, declaring that they had been badly cheated, 
that the so-called Walk had been a " run," and that the 
walkers had already cut out all the land worth having. 

The next morning was dull and rainy, and to add to the 
discomfort, several horses had been permitted to stray, 
and two hours were lost in hunting them. Another cause 
of anxiety was the absence of the Indian representatives, 
which finally led Benjamin Eastburn and Nicholas Scull 
to go over to the neighboring Indian town and ask 
that other men be sent to represent the Delawares in 
place of those who had left. 

Lappawinzo's reply was more honest than courteous. 
" You may go to the devil with your bad land ! " said 
he. " You have already taken from us all our best land, 
and we will send no more Indians to be humbled by 
seeing themselves robbed." However, Combush did re- 
turn with two other Indians, and followed the Walk about 
ten miles farther. Then, the rain increasing, they 
dropped out for good and all. 

From 8 a. m. until the prescribed eighteen hours had 
been completed, the company pressed on, the footmen 
piloted by men on horseback, carrying a compass to keep 
the course straight and northwest. When the time ex- 
pired, the north side of the Pocono mountain had been 
reached. Yates had given out, being too lame to con- 
tinue to the end; but Marshall finished the course. The 
distance achieved was nearly seventy miles. Here the 
limit of the Walk was marked by scoring five oaks with 
the name of the Proprietary and the year 1737. 

The next point in Penn's orders was to adjust the 
northern boundary so as to include the greatest area pos- 



I02 QUAKER BEN 

sible. Instead of running a base line directly to the Dela- 
ware River, as the Indians had expected, and which was 
plainly the purpose of the original deed, Messrs. East- 
bum and Scull, Chapman and Steel, who completed this 
important feature of the survey, inclined the line so far 
to the northeast that it made an acute angle with the 
Delaware, terminating near the mouth of the Lacka- 
maxon. The length of this line was sixty-five miles, 
and it is noteworthy that the engineers who completed it, 
striking it out on horseback, reported that " it employed 
them four days," although the distance was not quite 
as great as that traversed during the day-and-a-half 
Walk. 

The climax of this act of thieving and oppression was 
not reached for several years. In the state of irritation 
into which Thomas Penn's policy had wrought the In- 
dians, it was not easy for the Proprietary to reap its 
anticipated fruits. The Dela wares refused to be dis- 
lodged from their pleasant hunting-grounds and homes. 
Nor could the Colonial Assembly, dominated by members 
of the Society of Friends, be persuaded to eject them 
by force. Again recourse was had to that sort of diplo- 
macy in which Penn was an adept. The Iroquois tribes, 
the conquerors and masters of the Delawares, were ap- 
pealed to, to enforce the Walking Purchase treaty. 

Their chiefs were heavily bribed. A perverted ac- 
count was told them of the treaty, the agreements, the 
manner in which the Walk was conducted, and the con- 
duct of the Delawares generally. A deputation of the 
Iroquois chiefs held a council in Philadelphia (1742) 
and summoned the Delawares before them. The rela- 
tions between the two parties and the unhappy dilemma 
of the subjugated Delawares can be learned from the 
language in which the latter were addressed by the Iro- 
quois orator, Canasstego : 

" How came you to presume to sell land ? We con- 
quered you. We made women of you. You can no 
more sell land than women can. This land you claim, is 



PENN'S INDIAN WALK PURCHASE 103 

gone down your throats. You have been furnished with 
clothes, meat and drink, by the goods furnished you 
for it. And now you want it again, like children that 
you are. What makes you sell land in the dark? Did 
you ever tell us that you had sold this land? Did we 
ever receive any part from you for it ? 

"We charge you to remove instantly! We do not 
give you the liberty to think about it. You are women ! 
Take the advice of a wise man and remove immediately. 
You may return to the other side of the Delaware whence 
you came. But we do not know whether you will be 
permitted to live there; or whether you have not swal- 
lowed that land down your throats also. We therefore 
assign you two places to go. You will go either to Wyo- 
ming or Shamokin." 

There was no appeal from this judgment. The Dela- 
wares were disarmed and powerless. Resistance would 
have meant annihilation. There was but one thing they 
could do — obey. And they obeyed. From the ancient 
seats of their tribe ; from the broad river and its teeming 
fishing-grounds, from the valleys and mountains filled 
with game; from their corn-fields and cabins and an- 
cestral haunts, they rose up with their wives and chil- 
dren, and went as ordered, some to the Susquehanna, 
some to Wyoming — ill-omened name ! 

It would be hard, perhaps impossible, to find in the 
history of our native tribes so tyrannical and humiliating 
a decree, so remorselessly carried out by men of their 
own race, as this order of the Iroquois enforced upon 
the unhappy Delawares, at the instigation of the son and 
successor of William Penn. It was years before the full 
and awful harvest of this iniquity was reaped by the 
white men and women and children of Pennsylvania. 
But the suppressed anger and vengeance which these ex- 
iles carried with them to their new seats smouldered in 
their bosoms thenceforth. And it broke out at intervals 
in deeds of violence, that fell not upon the guilty, but as 
is so often the case, upon the innocent. 



104 QUAKER BEN 

The ship-loads of Germans and Scotch-Irishmen then 
and afterward swarming into the port of Philadelphia, 
and making their way thence to the valleys and mountains 
of central Pennsylvania, no doubt added to the sense of 
wrong and the strong race antagonism that had devel- 
oped. They had paid hard-earned money for their lands 
to those who claimed the right to dispose of them as 
purchased from the proprietors. Most of them were in- 
nocent of any personal injury intended or done to the 
natives. They sought only the quiet enjoyment of their 
property, and the right to gain therefrom a living for 
themselves and families. 

All, however, were not so considerate and peaceful, and 
causes enough for friction were continually arising, in 
which the white men were not infrequently the aggressors. 
But underlying all, as the outrage and aggression in which 
the others had their chief origin, was the great Walking 
Purchase swindle concocted by Thomas Penn and carried 
through by him, his aiders and abettors. That the Iro- 
quois, men of their own race, were the last efficient in- 
struments in executing the Proprietary's policy did not 
weigh so much with the Delawares. With the simple 
logic of the primitive man, they went straight to the real 
guilty cause, the perfidious ruler of the province; and 
with that lack of detail and with the broad generaliza- 
tion which are apt to mark crude reasons, they saw not 
the individual, but his community, his race. And at the 
community, the race, when their time was ripe, the 
victims of the Walking Purchase struck. 



CHAPTER XIII 

A STARTLING DISCLOSURE 

September found Ben-Thee once more in Philadelphia 
at his old quarters in Clark's Inn. Thither business had 
drawn him, and the far stronger magnet of his interest 
in Rhoda Reagan. His intended visit of a few days 
had lengthened into weeks. For besides the attraction 
at Angus Reagan's house, the Owen mansion, thronging 
with beloved and loving young life, was an unfailing 
source of delight to him; all the stronger for its vivid 
contrast with his lonely life in the Cumberland Valley 
and Mountains. 

Among the friendly conversations and conferences 
with the Owens, those with Dorothy were perhaps the 
most frequent. Rumors of the " Indian Walk " as con- 
ducted by Thomas Penn and his agents and instruments, 
had become current in the city. The conditions thereof 
and its probable results were discussed with much feeling, 
and with grave doubts on the part of many. Dorothy 
Owen was particularly interested in this matter. 

" Thee knows," she once said to Ben-Thee, " how long 
and earnestly, in my quiet way, I have wrought to bring 
our Indians into nobler views of duty, and more Christian 
ideas of righteousness and religion. But what headway 
can one make in the face of the injustice of such an act 
by one who is held to be the representative of Christian 
character? In fact, I find that the chief hindrances in 
advancing Gospel teachings and behavior among our 
Delawares, are the evil lives of many white men." 

" But it is not fair," exclaimed Ben-Thee, ** to take the 
worst among us as samples of the true disciples of 
Christ!" 



io6 QUAKER BEN 

" Not fair ; but most natural ! " Dorothy responded. 
" And thee will find, I think, that white people jump to 
conclusions concerning red men after the same fashion, 
and condemn the whole race for the sins of a few. Be 
that as it may, the Delawares are greatly wrought up 
over this Indiai\ affair; and they speak bitterly, not 
only of Thomas Penn, but of the whole white race, who 
seem to tolerate, if they do not encourage such a gross 
wrong upon their red brothers." 

" Well, Dorothy," said Ben-Thee, " I confess that I 
cannot feel as keenly as thee in the matter of the social, 
spiritual and intellectual advancement of the Indians. 
They are at the best a treacherous race; and, whatever 
the future may develop, are still in the thrall of native 
savagery, though with some right manly qualities which 
I respect. And I adv^ge thee not to let thy feelings carry 
thee too far. But I agree with thee as to the injustice 
and wrong of Thomas Penn's treatment of them, and 
I condemn its impolicy, and fear its possible danger to the 
community, perhaps, even to thyself." 

Dorothy was silent for a moment or two, as if pon- 
dering what had been said. At last she spoke. 

" I have a strong concern that some atonement is due 
the Delawares; some manifest proof to them that the 
whites are their friends, and. the true lovers of their 
souls for Christ's sake. And I often feel that I may be 
called to such a duty for their uplifting and saving." 

" Thee had best think long and well of that ! " said 
Ben-Thee, speaking up hastily, and with unusual warmth ; 
" and take much good counsel ere thee commits thyself 
to such a rash act." 

Dorothy laughed. "Thee needn't fear for me, Sir 
Hunter!" she said. "I have full confidence in the In- 
dians, who are grateful to their friends, though, truly, 
vengeful to unfriends. And above all, I would put my 
trust in a Higher Power, who would surely protect me, 
even from * the terror by night and the arrow that flieth 
by day,' if it were ever to come to that." 



A STARTLING DISCLOSURE 107 

Dorothy always had for Ben-Thee a warm welcome. 
There was indeed something lacking of her old-time free- 
dom of manner toward him ; for she had ere this become 
conscious that her feeling for him was more than sisterly. 
And while she noted Ben-Thee's fondness for Rhoda, the 
sense of maidenly modesty, as well as loyalty to her 
friend, kept the demonstration of her true sentiments 
within the bounds of ordered though kindly propriety. 
It was a curious and perplexing conflict that was being 
waged within the maiden's bosom, and which she was 
meeting with the quiet conscientiousness and self-denial 
that marked her character. 

Ben-Thee apparently was unaware of her true feelings. 
His thought was only of Rhoda. He went to his room 
one night in a whirl of anxiety and perplexity. He knew 
now that he loved Rhoda Reagan. He knew that he 
wished to make her his wife. Yet her demeanor toward 
him was so strangely contradictory, now cordial, now 
cool; often indifferent, but at times almost verging upon 
affection, that while he had no sure ground for encourage- 
ment, he had some reason to hope, though with fear, that 
his love was not wholly unpleasing to her, and that her 
varying moods were the aberrations of a maiden who had 
not yet made up her mind. He had never felt the way 
open to declare his passion, or to make a proposal of 
marriage. 

But he now resolved to put an end to his uncertainty. 
One way or another he would know his fate, and adjust 
his life thereto. He could not live this way! His mind 
was unsettled. Do what he would, plan what he would, 
the image of Rhoda ever intruded. And therewith his 
purpose faltered; his grasp upon affairs weakened; he 
drifted into confusion of thought, aimlessness of will. 

But there was a first step which he felt that he must 
take. He would speak of his love to her father, and ask 
his consent formally to pay court to Rhoda and ask her 
hand in marriage. So he fell asleep, and dreamed once 
more, as on the first evening that he met her, that she 



io8 QUAKER BEN 

walked with him and Dorothy in his garden in the valley, 
and he plucked for her a bunch of wild roses. One of 
these she put in her hair, and then turned and pinned 
another on Dorothy's bosom. He recalled his dream in 
the morning as he set out for Angus Reagan's office 
which, like many lawyers of the period, he kept in a 
small separate room on the side of his house. 

He lost no time in declaring the purpose of his visit; 
albeit the business was not undertaken with his wonted 
coolness and steadiness of nerve. He was agitated, and 
he faced the father of the maid he loved, with a flutter 
of heart to which he was a stranger. His pulse beat 
more temperately when he had told his tale ; but it started 
afresh and with wonder this time, as Mr. Reagan rose, 
and locked the office door. 

" I have expected something of this kind, and do not 
care to be interrupted," he began, as he resumed his seat 
and turned toward Ben-Thee. There was an expression 
of seriousness, almost of pain, upon his face that boded 
ill to the young man's request, since it had little promise 
of satisfaction therein. " I have noted your growing 
interest in my daughter, and am not so ignorant of the 
ways of young men and maids, nor so far removed from 
my own youth, as not to know that this interest might 
lead up to such a declaration as you have made. The 
declaration requires that I should open up a chapter in 
my Ufe which I would fain have kept hidden. I do this 
in strict confidence, holding it as between us alone, until 
I give you leave to reveal it, or until my death. 

" I am a Scotchman by birth. My father was a law- 
yer, and after a partial course in the University of Edin- 
burgh, I became a clerk in his office. Through the 
influence of some companions, I became involved in cer- 
tain political agitations, that led up to an outbreak which, 
since it was unsuccessful, was held as treasonable. My 
father, whose political views were antagonistic to mine, 
felt keenly the shame of my arrest, and publicly re- 
nounced me as his son, though in justice to him, I 



A STARTLING DISCLOSURE 109 

must say that he used his influence to save my life. 

" Some of my associates were executed. I, with some 
others, was exiled to the colonies. Two of us were sold 
to a planter in Maryland, to be held to service until we 
had repaid the sum expended for us, together with the 
cost of transportation and other exactions. 

" Here the knowledge of law picked up in my father's 
office proved of great advantage, and I was able to do my 
master a service which saved him from large losses. In 
gratitude for this, he set me free. Wishing to escape 
from a community where I had been known as a bonds- 
man, I made my way to Pennsylvania, passing up into 
the Cumberland Valley. There I bought a farm, and 
set up a private school. I prospered, won the respect of 
the settlers, and married. 

" A daughter was born to us who died after several 
months of very happy life. Just then an Irish planter, 
newly come to the settlement, suddenly died, leaving 
three orphan children, one of them an infant daughter 
about our own baby's age. 

" My wife, craving her bairn and in pity for the help- 
less things without father or mother or kin of any de- 
gree, went straightway to the farmer's cabin, where 
some neighbors had gathered for such help as could be 
given. When she saw the poor infant and heard its 
pitiful wail, she put it to her breast, almost bursting 
with unused milk. When the wee thing began to suck 
and gurgle, and softly to press her bosom with its tiny 
fingers, her heart went out so fondly toward it that she 
broke into tears, and declared that God had given her 
this baby to take the other's place, and that we would 
adopt it as our own. And so we did ; and the child grew 
up in our house. 

" Not long thereafter I closed my school, sold my 
farm, and moved to Philadelphia, taking my mother's 
name, so as effectually (as I hoped) to cover up all 
traces of my old country record, which I feared might 
be more readily discovered in a seaport town, and re- 



no QUAKER BEN 

tard my advancement ; though, in truth, I found that such 
political offenses as mine are not looked upon so seriously 
here as in the mother land. 

"In Philadelphia I prospered as a lawyer, having 
thoroughly fitted myself for service by additional stud- 
ies. Five years ago my beloved and faithful wife 
died, leaving me childless, except the adopted daughter, 
whom we had come to love as our own. Indeed, we 
never knew any difference. I do not think I could love 
a child of my own flesh more tenderly than I love her; 
and well has she repaid all the affection lavished upon 
her. 

"She has no knowledge of her real parentage; I do 
not wish her to have. Nor would I have revealed these 
facts to anyone — much less to her — had it not been 
for the circumstances which brought you in contact 
with her, and for certain facts in your own life known 
to me as the lawyer of Kersey Owen." 

Ben-Thee had listened attentively to this story. At 
first with no special interest, except to wonder what it 
had to do with him; then eagerly, as the narrative pro- 
gressed; and at last with the most absorbed concern, 
as the truth began to dawn upon him. 

" What was the name of that immigrant? " he cried. 

The deep silence which followed the query, as the 
young man stood gazing upon his senior with staring 
eyes and pallid, sharp-set features, was broken by the law- 
yer's brief reply: 

"Thomas Hannan!" 

" And the infant's name — was — " 

"RhodaHannan!" 

" Then Rhoda Reagan is — is — ? " 

"Your own sister! " 

The words sounded like a death sentence on Ben- 
Thee's ears. He staggered, as though he had been 
struck, and sank into a chair. The very foundations of 
his life seemed to be dropping away. The revelation 
was so strange, so unexpected, so utterly unthinkable! 



A STARTLING DISCLOSURE iii 

The woman whom he loved and would have married 
was — his sister! An impassable wall had been reared 
between them. 

How could he tear down the old love? How could 
he reconstruct a new one? A sister! He a brother to 
Rhoda? He had no feeling — not the faintest of that 
kind — as yet. Could he ever have ? Dorothy was his 
sister! That love had grown up from childhood. It 
was a part of his nature. But Rhoda — how could he 
learn to love her as such? Yet — he must! 

Must? Did he feel it a hardship? Was that wrong? 
Was it not ignoble in him not to rejoice in the discovery 
of a sister whose loss he had so often deplored, and to 
whose finding he had given such long and seemingly 
hopeless care? O Rhoda, my new-found sister! Oh, 
my lost, lost love! 

The blood seemed to rush from his heart to his head. 
His face flushed. The veins stood out like cords. Then 
backward ran the red tide (or seemed to run) until it 
had centered and congealed around his heart. He grew 
deadly pale. He reeled in his seat. He rose, or at- 
tempted to rise; then fell back into his chair and placing 
both hands before his face broke forth into smothered 
sobs. 

Angus Reagan could enter into Ben-Thee's feelings, 
and appreciate, if not fully — who could do that? — yet 
to some extent, the awful situation into which the young 
man was thrown so suddenly, and the great conflict of 
feeling that was now shaking him. He knew that no 
one could teach Ben-Thee to adapt himself to such a 
change in his relations to Rhoda, and that the best way 
was to let him work out the problem for himself. 

He therefore kept silence, while the moments passed, 
and watched in speechless sympathy the soul-struggle 
being wrought out before him. ^ He knew enough of 
Ben-Thee's strong and manly nature (notwithstanding 
this new phase of his temperament, which he had not 
suspected), to feel sure that when the first mental con- 



112 QUAKER BEN 

vulsion had somewhat abated, his mind would settle into 
the right mood, and prompt him to the right action. He 
was not mistaken. The young man lifted his face and 
withdrew his hands. His first question showed the 
course of his thoughts : 

" Did thee say that Rhoda is ignorant of her true 
parentage ? " 

" Yes ; and it remains with you to decide whether or 
no she shall so remain. I have brought myself to this 
revelation with great reluctance; for no father, I think, 
could love his own child more tenderly than I love 
Rhoda ; and her love for me is equally strong. I would 
be well-nigh inconsolable were a shadow to fall between 
us. But I do not know her feelings toward you. If 
I thought that she reciprocates your affection, I would 
not hesitate. I have feared that it might be so. But 
if not, if not — " 

" Sir," B«n-Thee interrupted, " make thyself easy on 
that point. I have no reason to believe that Rhoda loves 
me as I love her. As far as I have been able to judge 
her affections, she regards me as a friend — nothing 
more. Let it be so! I would not for any earthly con- 
sideration have her life-long love for thee disturbed. 
The pleasure that might come to me from the open rec- 
ognition of our kinship, would be a paltry equivalent 
for what she might suffer, and what thee surely would. 
I confess that I have been deeply agitated by your dis- 
closure. It has for the moment unmanned me. I seem 
to be another person ; swept by an irresistible force into a 
new world of purpose and emotions. As to Rhoda, it 
is better that she should not know more ; better for her, 
better for thee; perhaps, better for me. What good 
could it do to reveal the truth? To cast this strange 
romance, with all that it would entail, into the midst of 
the great, gossiping town ? No, no ! That must not be ! '' 

Ben-Thee had risen. His last words had been spoken 
with a voice at first broken with emotion, but which 
grew firmer as he proceeded. Mr. Reagan also rose, and 



A STARTLING DISCLOSURE 113 

as vBen-Thee extended his hand, he pressed it warmly. 
The two men stood thus silently facing each other. 

Ben-Thee was the first to speak. " I appreciate thy 
motive, honored sir, in doing what thee has done ! Thee 
could not do otherwise. Farewell! We may not meet 
again. But, if it so chance that we do, I hope thee will 
find that the seeming unmanliness of this morning has 
been overcome. Farewell ! " 

As he went to his room, turning over in his thoughts 
again and again the startKng disclosure which the morn- 
ing had brought to him, and renewing the inward conflict 
that had so wrought upon his spirit, one element of 
thankfulness emerged. The mystery that had overhung 
the fate of his infant sister, and whose solution had 
hitherto bafHed his keenest research, was now happily 
solved. The lines had fallen to her in pleasant places. 
The valley waif, whose destiny might have been a 
wrecked and wretched life, a benign Providence had 
protected. She had become a worthy, happy and hon- 
ored woman, warmly loved, well cared for, well-to-do. 

He took from his breast pocket, where he was wont 
to keep them, the only souvenirs of his deceased parents, 
preserved for him by Friend Owen, — a small copy of 
the Psalter after the authorized English version, and a 
yet smaller copy of the Psalm-book in the metrical ver- 
sion of Rous as used for public praise in the Church of 
Scotland. 

He turned in the former to Psalm xxxvii. He had 
read it so often that the leaves opened of themselves. A 
pen had marked on the margin, verses 23, 24, 25 : 

" The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord: 

And He delighteth in his way. 

Though he fall, he shall not he utterly cast down: 

For the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. 

I have been young, and now am old; 

Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken. 

Nor his seed begging bread/' 



114 QUAKER BEN 

A few moments of meditation followed, in which he 
tried to recall his father, of whom he had some remem- 
brance, in the act of scribing with his dying hand around 
those words of hope. Did he think his children might 
some day read them and be comforted ? Were they the 
confession of faith of this lonely and bereaved man, a 
faith unbroken even by the calamities that had over- 
whelmed him and his? 

Ben-Thee opened the Psalm-book. It had been his 
mother's, a gift from her mother. What a story its 
voiceless leaves might tell, if they could be made to talk! 
Voiceless, not speechless leaves; for see! One corner 
of a leaf is turned down at the twenty-third Psalm, and 
the page is thumb-worn, as though the verses were well 
known and well loved. And what child of Scotland's 
Church or of her spiritual children in other lands, does 
not know and love, 

'' The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want? " 

" Sublime hope ! Invincible trust ! Is it mine ? " 
Ben-Thee asked himself. " Have I the manliness, the 
stout-hearted faith to face life and its labors and trials 
as did these pious emigrants — my father and my 
mother? They have not trusted wholly in vain! For 
two of their children, at least, their confidence has been 
prophetic. But as to the third, my younger brother? 
Shall it also be fulfilled?" 

Under the spur of this meditation, he wrote a letter to 
Mr. Reagan and sent it to his Office. The answer soon 
came back : 

'' My dear Mr. Owen: 

" Your younger brother was taken to the home of the 
companion of my condemnation, exile and bondage, of 
whom I spoke to you. After I had left Maryland, he 
was so lonely and restless that he found his situation 
unendurable, and finally escaped. He made his way to 
the Cumberland Valley, and applied to me for help, 
which I readily gave. Work was plenty, workmen 



A STARTLING DISCLOSURE 115 

scarce; and ere long he was established upon a little 
farm of his own. Some time afterward he married a 
worthy woman, and apparently settled down to a steady 
and sober life. He was wild enough in Scotland, like 
so many youth of good family; and while I shared his 
political fortunes, I had no sympathy with his loose 
morals and tendency to dissipation, which, however, I 
now hoped might be wholly corrected. He concurred 
in his wife's adoption of the little Hannan lad, perhaps 
influenced by our course toward Rhoda. 

" About a year thereafter, I saw posted on a tree in 
front of an inn in the vicinage, an advertisement of a 
runaway bond-servant giving the assumed name and a 
description of my friend, and offering a reward for in- 
formation leading to his capture. It was headed by a 
rude cut of a running man with stick and bundle over 
his shoulder, and signed by our former owner. That 
evening Macallum (the name he had assumed) came to 
see me. He was greatly disturbed by the advertisement, 
and feared he would be arrested and returned, as evi- 
dently his master had knowledge that he was in that 
neighborhood. He was resolved to leave the valley at 
once, and transferred to me his property, requesting me 
to dispose of it as opportunity might serve, repaying 
myself for what he asked me to advance upon it, and 
hold the remainder until he should send for it. In a day 
or two he disappeared with his little family, and from 
that time to this, I have never seen or heard of him or 
them. They have all vanished as completely as if the 
earth had swallowed them up. I have never been able to 
discover through his wife's family or otherwise, the slight- 
est clue as to whither they went or what destiny befell 
them, except that they went westward beyond the moun- 
tains. Doubtless they have been absorbed or lost within 
the vast and almost unknown solitudes of that sparsely 
inhabited region. 

" I have carefully kept account of the trust committed 
to me, and after requiting myself for money advanced, 



ii6 QUAKER BEN 

there still remains to the credit of Macallum or his fam- 
ily, should there ever be a proper demand therefor, a 
snug balance. I regret that this is all that I can tell 
you of your brother, who of course, disappeared with 
his foster parents. 

" I have the honor to be, 

" My dear Sir, your obedient serv't, 
" Angus Reagan/' 



PART TWO 



CHAPTER XIV 

RECRUITING FOR CARTAGENA 

The chronic state of irritation between the govern- 
ments of Great Britain and Spain, broke into official war 
in October, 1739. In point of fact, a condition of actual 
warfare had existed for some time before. The ill 
treatment of English log-wood cutters at Campeachy, 
and the searching of English ships for contraband goods, 
upon the Spanish Main, may have been the immediate 
cause, as alleged; but the hostility between the two na- 
tions was always latent and near the surface, and little 
aggression on either part was needed to bring the two 
people into conflict. 

The commercial activity of the English at this period ; 
the restless and adventurous spirit of their merchants and 
mariners; and the prevailing lax views of maritime law, 
united with hereditary antagonism to keep Great Britain 
and Spain upon a fretted borderland of war. At the 
points of nearest contact, as the British and Spanish 
West Indies, the American colonies and Florida, and the 
Spanish Main, the friction was greatest. 

The colonial commerce of this period was consider- 
able, chiefly with the mother country, and its West In- 
dian possessions. As Cuba and the Spanish possessions 
were near neighbors, a war with Spain closely concerned 
all British colonies and aroused wide-spread interest. 
When therefore the King's proclamation was circulated, 
calling for three thousand Americans to enlist for service 
in the expedition under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon 
against the Spanish Main, it caused great excitement. 
From Boston to the Carolinas men flocked to the 
standard. 



120 QUAKER BEN 

Most of the colonies encouraged enlistments by offer- 
ing bounties or otherwise. But in Philadelphia, Gov- 
ernor Thomas was sturdily opposed by the Colonial 
Assembly. There were two reasons for this. The ma- 
jority of the legislators were Friends, who, being opposed 
to war on principle, objected to voting the appropriations 
required for military supplies. The other reason was 
based upon the fact that a large proportion of the volun- 
teers offering and accepted, were bondsmen; that is, 
white persons sold to serve for a limited time, in order 
to pay charges of their transportation to America and 
other expenses of migration. They were known as 
" redemptioners," and at that time were numerous. 
Many were industrious, steady and sober, though poor. 
In the great scarcity of labor and need for workers, es- 
pecially during the harvest season, when the chief re- 
cruiting was done, the time and labor of servants were 
most valuable. There was no available substitute but 
negro slaves. Some scrupled to use such service. Many 
had all the slaves they could afford. Some could not 
afford such costly labor at all. None willingly submit- 
ted to the unrequited loss of service already paid for and 
depended upon. 

On the other hand, many of the redemptioners were 
quite content to escape from their condition of servitude, 
and while receiving the King's pay as soldiers, be ab- 
solved from labors due their masters. That some of 
them, having "accepted the King's shilling," escaped 
from their new obligations with as scant scruples as 
from their former ones, and ran away from the colors, 
appears from a number of advertisements of deserters 
from companies quartered near Philadelphia, and re- 
wards for their capture, printed in the journals of that 
date, particularly in Franklin's " Gazette." However, 
by the middle of September, 1740, the quota of Penn- 
sylvania (seven companies) was filled, and the transports 
fell down the river; "the companies all full," (as 
Franklin's paper announced) " the men cheerful and in 



RECRUITING FOR CARTAGENA 121 

good heart," having been reviewed by the Governor be- 
fore they went aboard. 

Philadelphia was agog with excitement during that 
summer of 1740. The arrival of recruits from other 
parts of the province; their marchings to and fro; the 
stir and clamor of recruiting officers, and the drilling of 
the raw volunteers, kept the juniors, the negroes and 
the Indians in a ferment. The controversy between 
Governor Thomas and the Assembly, and the increase of 
business and population caused by the influx of stran- 
gers and the organization of the troops and arrangements 
for their transportation and subsistence, kept the seniors 
and the citizens generally on the qui vive. Whitefield's 
visits and preachings added to the popular agitation; 
and, on the whole, Philadelphia was anything but a dull 
place. It was indeed a quite animated fringe of hu- 
manity, on that eastern border of the great wildernesses 
of the middle colonies. 

One day in June the sounds of kettle-drum and fife, 
with occasional blasts of a bugle were borne cityward 
on the southwest breeze. As they drew nearer, a crowd 
of boys, slaves and redmen thronged outward, and were 
soon returning, following, along the ragged edges of the 
rough road, a large squad of recruits. It was Captain 
Owen's company of riflemen bound for the Spanish war. 

In front marched a drummer, fifer and bugler. Next 
came a tall frontiersman carrying a British flag. Then 
came Captain Ben-Thee, and following him, marching 
in double rank, for the road was narrow, forty or fifty 
men and youth, most of them carrying the long rifled 
gun of Lancaster, and wearing fringed hunting- frocks 
and leggins. 

The company marched to the vicinity of the State 
House, where it was inspected by Adjutant-General 
Blakeny, and assigned to quarters near the eastern bank 
of the Schuylkill. They were soon quite at home, and 
settled down to the work of drilling, and recruiting their 
ranks to the maximum. 



122 QUAKER BEN 

•The next morning Ensign Arthur Burbeck, with a 
squad of the most comely and best appareled men, sal- 
lied forth on a recruiting excursion. A favorite place 
for this duty was the street in front of the taverns and 
ale-houses, of which there was a great sufficiency then as 
now. These " publics " were favorite lounging-places 
for mariners, men out of employment, emigrants and 
floaters upon the social current generally. Moreover, 
they furnished a convenient source for the supply of 
those liquid refreshments which were then thought a 
necessary reinforcement of the arguments held to be 
both common and proper on such occasions. 

It was a new business for our friend Arthur. But 
with his ready wit and shrewd skill in adapting himself 
to conditions, he made the rounds of a number of the 
resorts, with considerable success, and wound up the 
morning's work at the Market-House on High Street, 
where a crowd was always apt to assemble, drawn by 
that strange spell which seems to summon human beings 
together as if by magic, out of the very solitary paving- 
stones. Here Ensign Burbeck rested the colors, bade 
his drummer and fifer play up, and after some stirring 
notes upon the bugle, opened up in the name of His 
Britannic Majesty that flood of eloquence which was 
supposed to befit such service : 

" Gentlemen, Americans, Britons ! " he began : " It's 
the call of our Mother Country that I'm bringin' ye. To 
be sure, it's a step-mother she has been to some of us, — 
and, not a very tander one at that — God bless her ! By 
the way, it does seem a bit odd, doesn't it? — to be 
talkin' about our Mother Country or our step-mother 
country, seein' it's His King's Majesty's government 
we're representin' ? But Mother or Father, the duty 
an' sarvice are all one. So let that fly stick to the wall ! 
Sure it's good Scriptur' and good morals to * honor thy 
father an' thy mother.' We're axed now to honor our 
Mother Country an' our Father King by takin' a slap 
at the Spanishers. It's kind o' tit for tat, ye see; for 



RECRUITING FOR CARTAGENA 123 

if we don't slap them, they'll slash us. It's a broad 
plain way from the Capes to Philadelphia, an' the best 
way to keep the inimy out is to trail 'em till their own 
dens an' scotch 'em there! 

"What do we promise? says you. The King — 
God bless His Majesty! feeds you and clothes you and 
drinks you — Oh, ye naden't laugh ; why not * drinks ' 
you as well as * feeds ' you ? — Sure what's sauce for the 
goose is sauce for the gander, an' one may do a bit o' 
recruitin' for the King's English, while recruitin' for the 
King's army! What I mane is — though perhaps it's 
not worth the mention to gintlemen like yourselves — 
there's a spirit ration of a half-pint o' rum a day to be 
allowed ye. 

" What's that you're askin', friend ? Are we payin' a 
bounty for enlistin' ? You're barkin' up the wrong tree 
thar, my man! Our good masters, the Quakers, hold 
the purse-strings, and they draw them fell tight. They're 
opposed to war, you know — espeecially its costs. An' 
there's no denyin' war is costly business. Nations are 
great fools iver to get intil it. * Arthur,' my father uset 
for to say til me, * kape out of all quarrels an' scrapes ! 
Niver fight till you're fair cornered. But then, niver 
give up till you've licked t'other feller out of his boots! ' 
Gintlemen, that's our fix now. We're cornered. We're 
intil the scrape, body an' breeches. An' we've got to 
fight our way out ! We've got to make a spoon or spoil a 
horn. Another recruit ! Sergeant, hand him the King's 
shilling and take his name ! That's aisy done — as aisy 
as kissin' ! Fall intil the rank, sorr ! " 

" And what's your trouble, young man ? " he continued, 
turning to a sturdy looking person who addressed him in 
a rather dolorous tone of voice. 

" I am anxious to go to the war, sir ; but I've a young 
wife; and who'll take care of her while I'm gone? " 

"Well, an' that's just my fix! But God bless her 
heart! the dear woman says she'll take care of herself! 
She did it afore she married me, says she, and if I choose 



124 QUAKER BEN 

to go traipsin' to the Spanish Main a-sojerin', she can do 
it agin!'' 

" Maybe she's glad to get rid of you for awhile ! " 
someone called from the crowd, at which there was a 
laugh at the ensign's expense. But he answered good- 
humoredly : 

" Indade, an' I wouldn't be surprised if that were true. 
I'm sure there's plenty o' good women who would be far 
better off without their husbands, more shame to the men 
for that same! Now our friend there, no doubt, spoke 
out of his own axperience, for the old sayin' 's true: 
Every fox smells his own hole first ! But to win back to 
our young friend here : My advice to you is, go home 
to your wife an' take good care of her, an' let the bach- 
elors go to the war. Don't Tave a wife for somebody 
else to take care of — * somebody else ' won't do it ! Why 
should he, if you don't? God made the family afore he 
made the country, an' I don't belave the country is so 
badly off for men, that it nades the sarvice of young 
bridegrooms. It was a wise provision of the old He- 
brew law that a man was axcused from military duty the 
first year after his marriage. We might stretch that a 
few months and be the better for it. 

" But here's a man whose face I've seen at ivery tavern 
we've stopped at to-day. I'm out several beers on your 
account a'ready, my man ! An' it looks as though your 
powers o' suction had just fairly begun. I thought I had 
you fast once or twice afore; but you're like the Irish- 
man's flea — when he put his finger on him he wasn't 
thar! Now, my good fellow, there are no more free 
drinks for you till ye've taken the King's shillin'. Oh! 
you're ready now, ye say ? That's a canny Scot for ye ! 
Get all that's in it, first ! Well, here's your shillin'. An' 
see you stay! For desartion is hangin' business; an' a 
hempen rope won't agree wi' a Scotchman's windpipes 
quite as well as a dram o' mountain dew. What's your 
name ? " 

" William Blackal of Glasga '— " 



ITZi 
« ft 



y^- 



— t< 




Ensign Arthur Burbeck Recruits Mr. Franklin for the 
Cartagena War 



RECRUITING FOR CARTAGENA 125 

"Ah! you mean to sign the papers yourself, I see. 
You can write, then?" 

" Write! " repeated Blackal with a snort of indignation. 
" Why not ? Every Scot — " 

" Axcuse me," Arthur interrupted, " I should ha'e re- 
mambered! The guid auld mither Kirk aye t'aches a' 
her childer readin', writin', and the Catechiz; an' they 
t'ach themselve to tass aff a dram o' sperits as often as 
a Provideential opportunity offers ! There Will'am ; drop 
into the ranks; an' see you don't drop out again in a 
hurry ! You're all right now ; but cut short your screed 
on patriotism, lest folk think you're over-doin' it a bit. 
Ye ken it's apt to be long grace and short meat wi' a 
Scotchman, — at I'aste so Englishmen say ! " 

" An' ye couldna' git warse authority nor that — for 
me ! " said Blackal, as he dropped into the ranks. But 
that Arthur's suspicions were not ill-grounded appeared 
from the fact that William Blackal's name appeared 
among the advertised deserters within two weeks. 

"An' now here comes a recruit we're all more nor 
proud to welcome — the Hon. Benjamin Franklin, whom 
I saw step out of his printin' office over there by the mar- 
ket a while back, with our Captain Benjamin Owen. 
Make way, men! Attention, riflemen! Present arms! " 

As the two gentlemen approached, the crowd fell back, 
and the recruits presented arms quite handsomely. It 
must be confessed that Franklin's face had a somewhat 
abashed look, and a frown was gathering on the Captain's 
brow as Ensign Burbeck continued : 

" Sargeant, get the papers ready, and the King's shil- 
ling! It's highly commendable, worthy sir, that you've 
come out so promptly to enlist. The example will be 
most influantial. The Riflemen feel greatly compli- 
mented by your preference for them; though one might 
have axpected that from the known wisdom of Poor 
Richard. But — sor-r ! I beg you to consider afore it's 
too late ! Men ! " he cried, turning to the Riflemen, 
" Mr. Franklin's our Postmaster ! We're all a-goin' far 



126 QUAKER BEN 

off from wives, an' sweethearts an' friends. We want a 
man at home that we can trust to take care of our letters 
and get the home letters to us. I'm dead opposed to his 
'listin' just now! Besides he's honorable Secretary of 
the Honorable General Assembly that votes the military 
supplies; an' if iver a party will nade a friend at Court, 
we're the b'ys! We must kape him thar, lads — we 
must kape him thar ! What say you, lads ? " 

Of course, there was a great shout of approval, and 
turning to Franklin, Arthur said : " Mr. Franklin, sorr ! 
You see how it is! We appreciate your patriotic mo- 
tives in wantin' to go with the b'ys til the Spanish Main. 
But r'ally, we canna spare you from Philadelphy, yet a 
while. I am compelled to decline your application. But, 
sorr, I have the honor to propose you as an honorary 
member of Captain Benjamin Owen's company of Rifle- 
men. Come, lads, what say ye — yea or nay?" 

A sounding " Yea," rang through the market-place, 
and bowing his acknowledgments to the men, the phi- 
losopher made a brief speech, bubbling over with wit and 
wisdom, and the sergeant marched them with their new 
enlistments back to the camp. The perplexed look on 
Franklin's face had soon melted into mirth fulness, as he 
saw Arthur's drift, and no one enjoyed the by-play more 
than he. When the recruits had disappeared up High 
Street, and the crowd had dissolved, he invited his " Cum- 
berland Philosopher," as he would call him, and Captain 
Owen into a quiet inn close-by for a bite and- a draught of 
home-brewed ale. 

" For if iver there was droughty wark," quoth Arthur, 
" it's recruitin' ! " 

That evening Deborah Franklin had a momentary 
shock when her Benjamin came home and announced that 
he had joined Captain Owen's Riflemen for the war on 
the Spanish Main. But her laugh was the merrier when 
her husband told in his inimitable way, and often after- 
ward, the story of how he was " recruited " for the Car- 
tagena campaign. 



RECRUITING FOR CARTAGENA 127 

That evening, as Ben-Thee was slowly sauntering to- 
ward the camp on the Schuylkill, a friendly slap on the 
shoulder arrested him. He turned to face Lieutenant 
Robin More, whose countenance, radiant with pleasure, 
and hearty hand-grasp, showed how greatly he enjoyed 
the meeting. 

*' I am just back from a cruise," said Robin, " and al- 
most the first thing I heard was that you had come to 
town with a company of recruits, and were off to Carta- 
gena. We are likely to sail together, for the * Heather ' 
is to act as an escort and fleet tender to transports." 

Ben-Thee's attitude indicated surprise. There was a 
breach somewhere in his information. " The ' Heather,' 
did you say ? An escort ? " 

"Ay, so I said; and am proud and happy to say so. 
Our application for a privateer's commission was favor- 
ably passed upon, and we made port yesterday with a 
rich Spanish prize, carrying four six pounders, six swiv- 
els and a ct*ew of seventy men! That's not so bad for 
our little ^ Heather,' with her crew of twenty-five men ! " 

"With all my heart I congratulate you! I had not 
heard of your vessel's change of status. And this is a 
splendid beginning of your new career ! " said Ben-Thee. 
He took his hand once more, and this greeting had a 
warmth that greatly gratified Robin, though he could not 
quite appreciate the reason for it. He joined Ben-Thee 
in his jaunt to the Riflemen's camp, and afterward at 
supper. 



CHAPTER XV 

HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS FOR HIS MAJESTY's SERVICE 

Mr. Alfred Oster presented himself at Mr. Reagan's 
office with a fluster of expectation. His self-assurance 
was commonly proof against all demands upon it. But 
a request from the father of Rhoda Reagan for a private 
conference was much out of the ordinary, and impressed 
him accordingly. For, as far as he was capable of so 
exalted an emotion, he loved Rhoda. 

If one could have plumbed to the bottom of his selfish 
heart, he might have found, among sundry other induce- 
ments to his dishonest life, a hope so to fortify his bank 
account as to make him a favored suitor for his daugh- 
ter's hand before the prosperous lawyer. And now, as he 
waited at the office-door" — (a waiting whose length was 
a calculated factor in its temperamental effect upon the 
caller) — for response to his rap on the big bronze 
knocker from which an image of Justice stared down 
upon him — (if blind figures can by a metaphorical strain 
be said to stare) — his mind was in a mood of vague 
expectancy of — well, of something quite different from 
what awaited him. 

Mr. Reagan's well-known suavity was even greater 
than usual, as the young man entered and was greeted 
and bidden to a seat. After a brief silence during which 
the lawyer kept turning over a pile of papers on his desk, 
he accosted his visitor. 

" Mr. Oster, I have here a number of bills from sundry 
clients, sent me from time to time, to see what I could 
do in the way of collecting them. I have concluded to 
send for you — " 

There was a long pause which Oster interrupted with 



HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS 129 

a goodly show of dignity. " Really, sir, I am not the 
collector for the firm; and I fear I can give you small 
aid in this matter." 

" Ah ? You do not quite get my meaning. Here is 
an account from Charles Willing for a bundle of ginseng, 
on which is endorsed the memorandum : * Collect from 
Alfred Oster.' " 

" Sir, I never bought the goods ! " Oster exclaimed 
with vehemence. " The bill is an error or a fraud." 

" And here is another bill," Mr. Reagan continued in 
the same unruffled voice and manner, " for certain casks 
of wine for which they have received no pay, and on 
which I have endorsed, ' Try Alfred Oster.' " 

" Sir, that is also a trumped-up account. I never 
bought those goods ! I never — " He rose in his agita- 
tion, and showed signs of kindling anger. 

" Be seated, my dear sir ! " the lawyer continued in the 
same cool and suave manner, as he picked up another pa- 
per. " Observe, please, that it was not stated that you 
had bought the goods. Your memory is a little dull just 
now, but it will awaken by and by, and your recollection 
of some of these transactions will be more vivid. Now 
here is a memorandum from your own firm which like 
the others I have endorsed, ' Try Alfred Oster.' Please 
give it particular attention : One pack of extra fine furs. 
Item one bear-skin extra large, prime condition; three 
panther skins, ditto; two wolf skins, ditto; sundry beaver 
skins, ditto. These skins disappeared from a pack-train 
conducted by Benjamin Owen on or about April 26, 1737, 
but were afterward sold in the May Fair for the benefit 
of A. Oster and others. What say you to that, sir? " 

Mr. Reagan suddenly dropped the affable manner in 
which he had spoken, and addressed his visitor in a stern, 
harsh tone. 

Like a flash the truth dawned upon Oster. He was 
trapped ! His crimes had been uncovered. All was lost ! 
His tongue clave to the roof of his mouth. A shiver 
passed over his frame as he stared upon the lawyer who 



130 QUAKER BEN 

stood there like a statue of Justice — not blind, oh, no ! 
for his cold quiet eyes seemed to pierce him through and 
through. Judgment Day had come at last ! He always 
knew it would come ! He sank back into his chair. 

" Oh, Mr. Reagan ! for my mother's sake, for my sis- 
ter's sake, have mercy! " That was his first pitiful plea 
made through pallid and parched lips. 

" Did you ever have mercy on them? " was the reply. 

"No, no — I see now! But oh, be merciful!" He 
was wholly unmanned. He would have sunk on his 
knees if Mr. Reagan's sharp " No! " had not recalled him. 

" You confess all these crimes — thefts, robberies, 
breaches of trust? It will not be necessary to carry the 
cases to court ? You will do what you can to cause resti- 
tution?" 

" Yes; I confess alL I have been living a double life 
ever since I fell in with Ruel Braun. I will do all I can 
to undo the wrongs I have wrought." 

" Will you sign a written confession? " 

" I will. I will sign anything you ask ! " 

" You must know that your crimes, in association with 
Braun, have wrought suspicion upon Robin More. What 
say you ? " 

" He is innocent I " 

" Will you sign a statement to that effect ? " 

" I will. A purer, better man never lived ! " 

"And his father?" 

" I am not so sure, sir. I think he is in the main hon- 
est, outside of smuggling. Braun deceived him about 
many of our schemes, I know; he may have done so 
about all. But I can't understand how a man of his 
parts could fail to suspect something. But Braun is 
cunning as Satan — he w Satan!" he exclaimed with 
hysterical energy. " A devil incarnate ! He tried to 
ruin young More — tempted him in every way. More 
spurned him. Then he tried the harder out of hatred. 
Robin was proof against every assault. O God! If 
I had been like him!" And the wretched ipan 



HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS 131 

bowed his head upon his hands and wept bitterly. 

For a while the lawyer was busy with his pen. Then 
he read what he had written. " We must have a witness 
to your signature." He stepped to the window and called 
— O heaven, of all persons in the world ! — his daughter 
Rhoda, who was walking in the garden. 

She saluted Oster distantly as she entered, asking no 
questions, for it was not a new experience to be required 
for like service, though wondering at his agitated ap- 
pearance. 

" You acknowledge this to be your signature, and that 
the contents of these writings are true?" Mr. Reagan 
asked when Oster had signed his name. 

" I do ; so help me God ! " 

Then Rhoda sat down, and signed her name near his. 
"O just Heaven, to think of it! — in this way, so near 
to his, a witness to his dishonor and ruin — no otherwise 
than this our names to be joined, while life endures!" 
With these inward ejaculations he saw Rhoda pass out 
of the office, and so out of his life. 

When Mr. Reagan had collected and adjusted his pa- 
pers, he turned to the young man. " Mr. Oster," he said, 
*' the past is irretrievable. I know well that you cannot 
meet the financial obligations which these papers imply. 
Your illicit gains have been squandered as fast as re- 
ceived. Restitution is not probable, except by penal suf- 
fering. You know, of course, that I could send you to a 
criminal's doom. I suspend my purpose to do this on 
one condition — that you enlist in the army bound for 
the Spanish Main, and leave Philadelphia at once. Will 
you do so ? " 

" I will, gladly ! — only — my mother and sister I " 

"They will certainly be no better off if you remain; 
and I have not forgotten them. You know Captain Ben- 
jamin Owen " ; — Oster shrank at the name — " you need 
not shrink. He knows all the facts in your case, and he 
has promised to take you into his company and give you 
an honorable position, something like a commissary clerk- 



132 QUAKER BEN 

ship, where your business abilities will be of advantage 
to the company and the country. You will have the 
chance in this new field to achieve an honest and honor- 
able career. That will depend upon yourself. If you 
yield to temptation again — remember what hangs over 
you!" 

" Sir, I am not likely to forget. I have longed for de- 
liverance, but could see no escape. I am grateful for 
your forbearance." 

" There is one thing more," Mr. Reagan continued. 
" I am due at the office of your firm by appointment at 
eleven o'clock. I have resolved to make them care for 
your mother and sister during your absence. Perhaps 
you may clear away several points in my memoranda 
here that will help me to persuade them to accept my 
advice — if you will, that is." 

" I will, certainly. They are rogues at heart ; and it 
was in their school, that I first learned the lax principles 
which have been my undoing. I am willing to do what I 
can to show them to you in their true light. And yet — 
I would not like to do or say anything that would work 
them permanent harm ; for after all — " 

" You need feel no concern on that point. Nothing 
more will happen from me than the pain of disgorging 
ill-gotten gains." 

For a little while the two men were busy going over 
certain papers, on which Mr. Reagan noted sundry mem- 
oranda. Then the lawyer called for his chaise and he 
and Oster were driven out to the Schuylkill camp, where 
Oster was enlisted, donned the hunting-shirt, and started 
duty as a commissary clerk at the company headquarters. 
Mr. Reagan having finished this disagreeable duty, drove 
to the storeroom of Windall and Bete, where a more 
difficult task awaited him in dealing with those hardened 
and wily adepts in mercantile adumbrations. 

The briefest greetings over, Mr. Reagan drew a chair 
up to a large double desk that did duty for both partners. 
" Gentlemen," he said, taking a bundle of papers from 



HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS 133 

his pocket, " this visit is not one of mere civility, as I 
daresay you have conjectured. I represent certain of 
our citizens and members of the General Assembly, who 
believe that some of the merchants of Philadelphia have 
not been dealing fairly with the government in contracts 
for military supplies and equipments for the Spanish 
war. I have been looking into the case a little, and have 
concluded that a professional visit to you might be of 
advantage/' 

" A case of commercial jealousy, sir! " exclaimed Mr. 
Bete, Teaching out a hand for the papers. 

" Excuse me, Mr. Teat—'' 

** Mr. Bete, if you please! " 

" I beg pardon ! But I am not yet done with these 
documents; indeed have not yet begun with them, Mr. 
Peat!" 

" Bete, sir. Bete is the name ! " 

" Ah, yes, Mr. Beat — your pardon, sir ! There are 
some things here that I confess seem to require explana- 
tion." 

" Sir, our solid standing in this community, and repu- 
tation won by strict attention to business, should protect 
us from such suspicions." 

" No doubt they should, sir ! But even a reputation " 
— the word was spoken with a slight but significant em- 
phasis — -"for unblemished character, can hardly justify a 
firm in charging from 120 to 160 per centum profit on 
flour — sugar — molasses — rum — candles — rope — 
sea biscuit — as in these and sundry other bills in my 
hands." And with each item named Mr. Reagan turned 
over a paper in his bundle, and glanced at its endorse- 
ment. 

*' Nor is it," he continued, " quite in accord with your 
high standing and reputation for fair dealing, to bill to 
the government an invoice of spirits, on which not a 
penny of revenue tax has been paid — smuggled goods, 
in fact — and not only charge double cost for the same, 
but add thereto the revenue charges as if paid by you at 



134 QUAKER BEN 

the custom-house. Considering your solid reputation, 
Mr, Bleat, that looks — " 

" Sir ! " exclaimed the junior partner, bringing down 
his fat hand with a thump upon the desk, perhaps as a 
strategic diversion. " My name is not Teat, nor Peat ! 
It's Bleat, sir — No ! I mean, sir, it's not Bleat, sir, but 
Bete, sir!" And he illustrated it by another smart 
stroke upon the desk. " Surely you must know it. 
Such forgetfulness is unpardonable, sir!" His confu- 
sion was notable, and under some circumstances might 
have been amusing. 

All this while Mr. Windall had been watching the play 
between the two men, permitting his partner to put in his 
usual preliminary work. He observed the slight smile 
that showed at the lawyer's lips as he noted the effect 
which his ruse of feigned forgetfulness of his name had 
upon a man of high self-esteem. He concluded that Mr. 
Reagan had knowledge of their affairs even more com- 
plete than he had chosen to show, and " to throw to such 
an old bird as he " — to put it in his idiomatic but scarcely 
elegant form — " the sort of chaff that Bete had been 
feeding him, was merely wasting time and opportunity." 
He was angry at his partner for the ease with which he 
had fallen into the lawyer's snare to confuse him. And 
he broke into the conversation unceremoniously. 

" Curse it, sir, your name makes mighty little differ- 
ence just now. If it isn't Bleat, it ought to be! Such 
a sheep you have been in the claws of this wolf of the 
law. Well, sir ! " — turning sharply upon Mr. Reagan. 
" I see you know a great deal more of our affairs than 
is good for us. Out with it, sir! Let us know the 
worst; and tell us what you want. If we have made 
mistakes, we can repair them; if we have overcharged, 
we can repay; if it is proved that we have wronged any- 
one, intentionally or unintentionally, we will right the 
wrong." 

Mr. Reagan fixed his full attention upon the wiry, 
dark-faced, black-eyed man who had just spoken. He 



HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS 135 

knew now, if he had doubted before, who was the real 
firm of Windall and Bete. His calm, blue, searching 
eyes met the keen, black and piercing but restless eyes of 
the merchant. The latter sustained the gaze for a mo- 
ment, then gradually fell. 

" Mr. Windall, I am glad you take the sensible, indeed, 
the inevitable view of the matter. The facts are all 
against you. I take it for granted that in all cases where 
money can meet the situation, you are ready to settle by 
payment or compromise ? " 

" That is correct, sir." 

" There is a view of some of these cases which perhaps 
you have overlooked. Offenses of this sort wrought 
against His Majesty's government are open to the charge 
of treason. And treason, sir, is a matter ot — " 

Mr. Reagan did not finish the sentence, but slowly, as 
if unconsciously, raised a hand to his throat. Mr. Bete 
made a sympathetic movement of the same sort, but 
Mr. Windall never winced, though his dark face grew 
pale. Neither man replied. Manifestly, there was noth- 
ing to say. 

" I am not here, gentlemen, to push the criminal phases 
of this case. But you asked me to show the worst and I 
shall do so. And it is certainly wise policy to look all 
facts fairly in the face. And now I have another sort 
of case to present; one that concerns the real estate de- 
partment of your affairs. I represent a client who claims 
a farm of five-hundred acres, with rent for twenty years 
and interest, — " 

"The dev — " Mr. Windall began, but cut short his 
expletive, in which, however, anger, surprise and in- 
credulity were all expressed. 

" No; the person to whom you were about to allude is 
doubtless concerned in the case, but not as my client. 
Perhaps it will refresh your memory if I state that my 
client is Captain Benjamin Hannan, better known as 
Owen, the son and heir of Thomas Hannan of Ulster 
County, Ireland, a settler in the Cumberland Valley. Not 



136 QUAKER BEN 

to tax your patience too greatly, I will remind you that 
the land was bought from you directly, was fully paid 
for, a receipt for the money given, and subsequently a 
deed made out and delivered to Thomas Hannan and duly 
recorded." 

" These are assertions, sir. We challenge you to the 
proof!" 

" Perhaps a copy of your deed to Thomas Hannan 
would count as proof. Here is one, sir. The original 
has disappeared, but the official copy is to be seen in the 
County Records where we saw it, and where you may see 
it also. I need not inform you that that is authentic, 
and the legal proof of the transfer of the land. It was 
not put on record, as you observe, for more than a year 
after Mr. Hannan's death, due no doubt to neglect or 
ignorance of the party to whom it was intrusted. Per- 
haps that may have been the reason why, when you had 
the records examined, as you probably did within the 
year following the decease, you found no legal proof 
of your sale, and may have concluded — but this is in 
the realm of conjecture, I will push it no further." 

" Well, sir," said Mr. Windall after a pause, " sup- 
pose, for the sake of the argument, we admit your posi- 
tion. What would then remain to your client's credit, 
according to your reckoning ? " 

"The restitution of the land intact, or the present 
price of the five-hundred acres, plus the rent paid to you 
during the interval, and the gross interest on such pay- 
ments. That would be the least that we should expect. 
But there is one important fact that must be taken into 
consideration. It appears that you have recently sold a 
section of fifty acres of the original tract to piece out a 
neighbor's farm, or for a town site, perhaps. That was 
an act of indiscretion which I leave you to characterize, 
but it brings into our settlement a special difficulty. 
How the difficulty can be overcome I am not now able to 
say; that must be a matter for future negotiation." 

The silence which followed was broken by Mr. Wind- 



HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS 137 

all. " I need hardly say, sir, that we recognize the situ- 
ation; and will hold ourselves ready — as we are aware 
we must do — to make any reasonable settlement within 
our power." 

" That seems satisfactory. I have now another item 
that requires attention and which concerns you." 

Mr. Windall's dark face flushed darker with anger. 
He lost the remarkable self-control which he had kept 
hitherto. " Another item, sir! " he cried. " It looks as 
though you purposed not only to run down your game, 
but to skin it alive! What more have you charged 
against us?" 

" In the present matter, gentlemen, you are more 
sinned against than sinning. You have a clerk named 
Alfred Oster who is in serious trouble. He has been 
swindling and plundering yourselves and others for two 
years, and at last is found out." 

" The rascal ! I have suspected him lately. I hope 
he is in the grip of the law, and that there will be no 
let-up on him ! " 

" On the contrary, he has enlisted, and will soon be 
sailing for the Spanish Main against Cartagena, the best 
thing probably that could occur. But this is the point 
for you to consider ; he was your representative in many 
matters, formally and legally so, and his transactions may 
be taken as yours in certain cases, the principals being 
responsible for the acts of their agent. This is a point 
that will develop later, if it ever comes up. Now, it is 
quite as much to your interests as to his that he should 
be away for a year or two ; and the one difficulty in his 
mind is the care of his widowed mother. Some of us 
are subscribing to a fund to look after the families of 
outgoing soldiers, and I suggest that it would be highly 
becoming, in every way, if Messrs. Windall and Bete 
subscribe say forty pounds yearly to be devoted chiefly 
to Mrs. Oster's comfort." 

" Certainly, sir ! " said Mr. Windall with apparent 
great heartiness. 



138 QUAKER BEN 

" I heartily approve ! " said Mr. Bete. 

" And now, gentlemen," said Mr. Reagan, rising and 
replacing his papers in his pocket-book, " I have only to 
say that if you will send me the name of your legal 
counsel at once, we will promptly take up the settlement 
of all points at issue." 

"We will not delay, sir!" said Mr. Windall, as he 
bowed the lawyer out with more courtesy than he was 
wont to show, while his partner exhibited more than his 
usual unctuousness. But scarcely was the (JoOr closed ere 
the office atmosphere grew blasphemp«< with the curses 
which poured from the two melius lips. They swore 
separately, they swore in duet ; they cursed the lawyer and 
all his works and aids and abettors. They cursed Al- 
fred Oster, including his mother for not bringing him up 
better. They cursed themselves for their folly in not 
covering up better the trail of their misdeeds, conscious 
somehow, doubtless, that the curse upon the misdeeds 
themselves would come in due time and measure, without 
their aid. And they wound up their soiree of impreca- 
tion by falling into a passion, and cursing each other. 
In this exercise the junior partner seemed to carry the 
palm for richness and originality of vocabulary. 

" Stop your bleating! " cried Mr. Windall to him in a 
fit of impatience. 

This covert reference to his late mortifying blunder 
was as a spark upon powder and produced an explosion 
of wrath. Assuming with monstrous incongruity the 
Quaker dialect, which he habitually used, he shook his 
big fist at his senior, declaring : " Stop thy own blank 
bleating, blank thee! Thee's a blanked fool and a 
blanked thief of the blankest type in the town, blank 
thee!" 

This Quakerized malediction was too much for Mr. 
Windall, who retired from the office to a less sulphurous 
scene. But a few hours thereafter the firm was recon- 
ciled, outwardly at least, and after consultation, concluded 



HOW A LAWYER RECRUITS 139 

that they would not further uncover the secrets of the 
firm by calling in another lawyer, but settle matters di- 
rectly with Mr. Reagan, and substantially on his own 
terms. 



CHAPTER XVI 

A DIVINE CALL AND ITS ANSWER 

The Friends' Meeting House on the banks of the Dela- 
ware, hence known as the " Bank Meeting," was the first 
erected in the Colony. The Founder, in his plans for 
his " Holy Experiment " had provided for one on what 
he called Center (now Penn) Square. To-day it is occu- 
pied wholly by an immense structure known as City 
Hall, whose tower is crowned by a huge effigy of William 
Penn. This statue rises to a height to which perhaps no 
human image has yet been raised, and looks down upon a 
million and a half of citizens and their hundreds of costly 
churches. So strangely does history overturn or re- 
verse the plans of men ! 

The Bank Meeting was a plain, unpainted wooden 
structure without adornment of any kind. Along the 
wall, opposite the main entrance, was an elevated plat- 
form divided into three equal parts, rising a step one 
above the other. On these were placed wooden benches 
running crosswise, leaving in the middle an open space 
by which the occupants could ascend and pass to their 
seats on either side. 

This was known as the ministers' gallery, and on it 
were seated the persons recognized as the public teachers 
and leaders or " ministers " and elders of the Society. 
There was no formal " call " to this office, no ordination 
or setting apart thereto by ceremony. Following the 
theory of the " inner light and leading " of the Spirit of 
God, the members of the Meeting waited upon the indica- 
tions of the Divine Spirit, moving souls to communicate 
their gifts from time to time. It was the right and duty 
of the Meeting to " try the spirits " ; for Friends knew 



A DIVINE CALL AND ITS ANSWER 141 

that the " inner light " sometimes came from a source no 
higher or holier than an ill regulated human impulse. In 
fact, the sober and disciplined common-sense of the So- 
ciety well controlled the matter. Those who proved by 
experience to be truly " gifted '* were duly " recognized," 
and in time found their place on the ministers' gallery. 
It was inevitable that members occasionally mistook their 
gifts and calling; and the leaders of Meeting exercised 
their liberty to inform such that their givings-forth were 
not to edification. 

On the gallery was no pulpit, no desk, no altar, Jaigh 
or low ; only plain benches like those in the body of the 
house, distinguished simply by being raised a step and 
two steps higher. The meeting house was divided into 
two main parts by a middle aisle, on one side of which 
sat the women Friends, on the other the men. There 
were no family pews; no outward recognition of the fam- 
ily relation. At the meeting-house doors such differences 
and all other social distinctions, dropped away. The sex 
distinction alone was recognized; a fact which may in- 
deed seem contradictory of a fundamental principle of 
Friends, but which knowledge of human nature and a 
dominant sense of propriety, as wise as comely, had fixed. 

On a bright May morning in 1742, the Owen family, 
as was their wont, wended their way to this simple place 
of worship. They formed a goodly procession as they 
soberly walked the street together; but they separated 
at the doors. Mother Lydia and the daughters going to 
the women's side. Father Owen and the sons to the men's, 
the father passing on to the minister's gallery. The place 
was well filled with persons who, though plain enough in 
outward appearance, and many of them in humble sta- 
tion, were unconsciously taking an important part in his- 
tory, as founders of a great State. 

The worshipers took such seats as pleased them, for 
none were reserved, and sat in silent meditation until all 
comers had been placed. Then followed that deejper si- 
lence when the rustling of garments and the impact of 



142 QUAKER BEN 

feet upon the floor, had ceased. It was " a silence that 
might be felt." Doubtless it was felt; for such absolute 
stillness in a large public meeting is always impressive. 
That it tended to inward devotion, and opening of soul, 
and sensitiveness to the movings of the Divine Spirit, 
are Friendly claims that one need not dispute. 

The silence was broken by one of the leaders, who rose, 
removed his hat and offered a devout and heart-stirring 
prayer. There followed a long interval of silence; then 
an address from one of the women ministers on the spirit 
of worldliness that was fast possessing the colony and 
encroaching upon old-time ways, and wrecking the in- 
fluence and lowering the testimony of early Friends. 
" Old time " and " early " were, of course, relative terms, 
for just sixty years had passed since William Penn landed 
at Chester with the " Welcome." 

Then came an unusually long " silent pause " — so long 
that some began to irk beneath it, and wonder why, as 
there were plainly to be no further " movings " that day, 
the two leading ministers did not shake hands and thus 
" break the meeting." But a great surprise awaited, one 
which made that day notable in the annals of the Society, 
and in the religious experience and destiny of some lives. 

On the women's side and well up to the front where 
the Owens habitually sat, a female form slowly arose. 
As she removed her bonnet — an act of reverence, as 
well as of convenience for hearers — the strong, fair face 
of Dorothy Owen appeared underneath her little Quaker 
cap. It was pale with suppressed emotion, and those 
who sat near her declared afterward that it shone with 
a spiritual earnestness which gave it a sort of radiance. 
The faint stir made by her action, falling on such dead 
stillness, drew all eyes toward the maiden. The minis- 
ters and elders looked up from their devout abstraction, 
and turned surprised and questioning eyes upon her, as 
though doubtful of what might come. Yet, why should 
they have questioned? Does the Divine Spirit eschew, 
in His movings upon human spirits, the youth of our 



A DIVINE CALL AND ITS ANSWER 143 

race? Dorothy Owen had a message. And she must 
speak ! 

" Friends ! " she began ; " Friends of God and of man ! " 
The voice was low and it trembled with the intensity of 
her feeling, but was distinctly heard in all the house. " I 
have long had upon my heart a burden which I have felt 
that I must share with my fellow worshipers. Hitherto 
I have bepn led by the sense of my youth and unwisdom, 
and that natural diffidence which a maiden feels before 
the public. But I dare no longer withhold my message 
and resist the Spirit that impels me to speak. It is known 
to many in the Meeting, that for several years I have had 
a concern for the temporal and spiritual welfare of the 
negroes and Indians, for whom I have wrought with a 
measure of zeal, though in a quiet way. Many here 
have helped me therein, and for this sympathy and aid I 
have been truly grateful. 

" But I cannot resist the conviction that this work falls 
far short of what is due. To-day I have concern for the 
Indians. We gained possession of their lands by treaty 
and purchases held to be lawful and sufficient, to say 
nought of the gift to our great Proprietor by King 
Charles. But many among us have been grieved by acts 
which in later years have despoiled the red men of their 
seats. Thee all know what I mean. A sense of the 
white man's injustice has sunk deeply into the hearts of 
the Delawares, our nearest neighbors. 

" Have we done enough — have we done anything 
equal to what the occasion demands, to clear our con- 
sciences, and make it plain before our Indian allies that 
we, the Friends, the true brethren and religious repre- 
sentatives of William Penn, whose memory they revere, 
are innocent of the wrong-doing? Does not neglect to 
oppose with all our might by remonstrance, by all possible 
influence and lawful opposition, constitute a sort of guilt? 

" There is another concern about which I cannot be in 
error. We, as a Society, have done nothing for the re- 
ligious conversion and reclamation of the Indians. Wc 



144 QUAKER BEN 

have established for them no schools wherein to teach 
our holy religion. We have sent to them no minister in 
the spirit and manner of our Lord's apostles and evange- 
lists. We have founded for them no mission based upon 
our assurance of their spiritual equality before God, and 
their equal responsibility to Him. We have treated them 
as men and as tribes to be justly dealt with and cared for 
in all civil business and temporal affairs, and have recog- 
nized their rights as members of a common manhood. 
But higher interests as immortal souls, children of a 
common Heavenly Father, have we not disregarded, or 
given so small a place that no serious concern therefor has 
weighed upon our minds ? 

" I have long and prayerfully pondered this matter, 
seeking the Spirit's light and leading. I have yielded 
thereto at last, imder a sense of duty to God and to con- 
science, even as my venerated teachers have taught me. 
If I have erred, I will meekly bear the Meeting's censure, 
while I crave its charity. If I have spoken truth or any 
measure thereof, let not my youth and inexperience hin- 
der acceptance of a Divine message ! 

" I might, perhaps, fitly close here. But I am moved to 
add that I would not be put in a position before the Meet- 
ing of pointing out a path of service in which I will not 
walk myself. If a spiritual mission to the Indians should 
be deemed a fitting thing, and such feeble service as I 
can give therein be held worthy of acceptance, * here am 
I ; send me ! '" 

For a moment Dorothy stood amid the profoundest 
stillness, bowed in silent prayer. As she sat down and 
covered her head, a low sigh, as of relief from a tense 
strain, was heard in many parts of the house. It showed 
the intensity of interest with which the address had been 
followed, and the feeling aroused thereby. 

The whole meeting was astir with inward excitement. 
A rustle of unconscious movements ran through the 
audience. A low hum, not of conversation, but of half- 
suppressed murmurs of assent rose from the benches, 



A DIVINE CALL AND ITS ANSWER 145 

broken into, here and there, by a muttered exclamation 
of impatience or disapproval. Mild and subdued as it 
was, it was a demonstration of feeling such as one rarely 
met with in a Friends' house of worship. Into the midst 
of it fell the deep voice of the head of the Meeting: 

" * Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings God hath 
ordained strength ! ' The Divine Spirit worketh where 
and how and with whom He will. He has to-day chosen 
for the vehicle of His message a maiden whose voice has 
never yet been heard among us, though her face is fa- 
miliar here, and her good works are known to us as in 
agreement with her words. Let us take heed that we do 
not resist the Spirit and despise His message because of 
the youth of her whom He has chosen to bring it. Re- 
member that Jesus our Master was yet a young man 
when He offered up Himself for us. Is it not believed 
that all the apostles, save Peter, were at their first call, 
young men still below their civil majority? May the 
God of Youth graciously guide us into all truth; and 
help us to search our ways as with a candle, and, if we 
have sinned in this thing, grant us humility to confess 
it, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance 1 " 

Then from the ministers' benches arose Friend Owen. 
He stood for a brief space with eyes fixed upon the spot 
where his daughter sat. He removed his hat, and having 
bent his head in silent prayer for a moment, said : 

*' Friends, if thee have listened with deep interest to 
the words of this young woman, what must be the emo- 
tion with which I, her father, have heard them? Verily, 
they have moved me to the depths of my soul. I confess 
that I have been guilty of the things whereof she has 
spoken. My guilt, perhaps, is greater than that of others ; 
for she is of mine own household, and I have often heard 
her groanings over this burthen laid upon her, although I 
have not fully known until now the workings of the 
Spirit within her. 

" It has gone to my heart to have heard her sweet young 
voice lifted up in our midst, to offer herself for a work 



146 QUAKER BEN 

of such labor and danger as would be a mission to the 
Indians of our frontiers. It would be most unbecoming 
that she should undertake such a work alone. And who 
should be her companion, if not her father? If it should 
please Friends to advise and forward such a service, I 
beg to offer myself as a joint messenger with her from 
the Church. I, too, say with Dorothy: 'Here am I, 
send me ! ' " 

As he sat down, Lydia his wife, who thus far had con- 
trolled her emotion, wept aloud, and weeping, swayed to 
and fro. A wave of sympathy went through the Meet- 
ing, and many were in tears. 

" Our house to-day is indeed a Bockim," said the ven- 
erable minister who sat at the head. " May these tears 
be a true token that our hearts are touched and made 
tender by the Grace of the Divine Spirit! I take it as the 
sense of the Meeting that this matter shall be duly con- 
sidered at a business session. If Friends are not in 
agreement with this, there is opportunity to signify their 
mind." 

Not a person rose in opposition. " Then,*' continued 
the leader, " I declare it the mind of the brethren that 
this Meeting assemble on fifth-day evening next, at early 
candle-lighting, to consider the sending of a spiritual mis- 
sion to the native Indians of our colony." 

Thereupon he held out his hand to the minister sitting 
on the bench opposite to him, who rose and took it. It 
was the formal token of " breaking the meeting." The 
worshipers arose, and with a seriousness even greater 
than wont, dispersed to their homes. 



CHAPTER XVII 

BEFORE THE WALLS OF CARTAGENA 

The inconveniences and irritating delays of sea travel 
one hundred and seventy years ago cannot easily be esti- 
mated by folk of this generation. But somehow, great 
as they were, men adjusted themselves thereto, thus 
proving that perhaps the most mobile organism in all the 
realm of living things, with the highest power of adapting 
itself to conditions and environments that cover a vast 
compass of differences — is the human frame. So, in 
the course of time, the American contingent arrived at 
Port Royal, Jamaica, were assigned to their respective 
commanders, and the fleet sailed southward for Car- 
tagena. 

Ben-Thee with Arthur Burbeck and a few riflemen 
were fortunate enough to make the entire voyage in the 
" Heather," which acted as a general scout and pioneer, 
co-operating thus with the British war vessels while voy- 
aging toward the Spanish Main. The friendship which 
had begun between Ben-Thee and Robin More matured 
thus into a warm personal attachment. In the long 
days and nights, while the ship glided through the placid 
Southern seas, they exchanged the stories of their lives 
which, while so different in circumstances and condi- 
tions, were equally stirring and crowded with interest- 
ing adventure. ^ 

Cartagena, the strongest fortification and largest town 
on the Spanish Main, was situated on the coast of New 
Grenada. It contained a population of about 80,000 of 
whom 14,000 were natives and 8,000 negro slaves, the 
others being Spaniards. 

From the beginning, the American volunteers occupied 



148 QUAKER BEN 

a most disagreeable position. They were regarded with 
contempt by the British soldiers and sailors although 
many of these were as raw, undisciplined and incom- 
petent in military and naval acquirements, as the objects 
of their scorn. This was an unreasonable exhibition of 
a prejudice which can hardly be called racial, since the 
Americans were largely made up of recruits from the 
same stock as men in the regular British service. Per- 
haps the scantiness of their equipments may have had 
something to do with this feeling. 

One contemporary writer says : " From the first sight 
of the American troops, they were despised." Another 
writer, after sharp criticism of his British associates and 
subordinates, thus pays his respects to the Colonials: 
"As for the American troops, they were, in general, 
many degrees worse; who were composed of Black- 
smiths, Tailors, Shoemakers and all the Banditti that 
country affords; insomuch that the other parts of the 
Army held them in scorn." 

Nor were the commanders at all backward in mak- 
ing their feelings known. Another contemporary record 
says that as many of the American troops " were Irish, 
and suspected papists," the commanders thought best to 
confine them to sea service; an ill-founded prejudice, 
for the Irish were chiefly Scotch-Irish and Protestant. 
Yet it kept these men swinging to and fro on ship- 
board while their comrades were fighting and dying on 
land. 

However, the exigencies of the siege required that 
detachments of the Colonials should be sent out, from 
time to time, on special duty. Among these were Cap- 
tain Owen and his Riflemen. The dense woods on the 
shore side of Cartagena, running back along the river; 
the bogs formed by the overflow of floods and by high 
tides, and the pools of fetid water in the low sandy 
flats, were the nurseries of malaria germs and of swarms 
of mosquitoes which we now know to be the bearers and 
propagators of the terrible bacillus of yellow fever, then 



BEFORE THE WALLS OF CARTAGENA 149 

making vast Inroads in the ranks of the besiegers. The 
encampments formed in such environment were trying 
places, putting to the test every quality of the man and 
the soldier. To these were added, in the case of Ameri- 
cans, the irritating reproaches and insults of the British 
officers and men, their comrades and associates in a 
common service and country, who should have been their 
sympathizing friends and helpers. 

One day several English officers were sauntering 
through the headquarters street of Captain Owen's Rifle- 
men, when Robin More chanced to be visiting Ben-Thee. 
They belonged to that class of decayed, spendthrift and 
dissipated sons of gentlemen and persons of rank, whom 
— as English writers affirmed — government favoritism 
and nepotism had crowded into the expedition as officers 
and leaders. These persons, as they swaggered through 
the street, made loud and insulting remarks about Ameri- 
cans, both officers and men. Ben-Thee had risen and 
gone to the front of his tent out of respect for approach- 
ing visitors wearing the uniform of English officers. He 
heard the remarks, and stepping forward after a courte- 
ous salutation, quietly remonstrated with the party for 
such open expression of their opinions, especially within 
the quarters of American soldiers. 

" Soldiers, quotha ! " exclaimed one of the party who 
wore a captain's uniform, but whom his companion had 
addressed as "your lordship." "Would you have us 
call such men, — soldiers? You must have queer ideas, 
sir, of what His Majesty's soldiers are supposed to be! 
Soldiers! A lot of mechanics, farm hands, Irish bond- 
servants, and colonial banditti, the refuse of the whole 
Kingdom! And the officers, sir," he continued with a 
gesture of contempt toward Ben-Thee, "are not a bit 
better than the men ! " 

" Hear, hear ! " cried his companions in chorus. 

Thereat Ben-Thee advanced, and seizing the offending 
officer by coat collar and breeches seat, raised him up as 
easily as if he had been a doll, and bending him over. 



ISO QUAKER BEN 

rubbed his face in a small puddle of mud in the sandy 
roadway. 

" There ! " he said, in his unruffled manner. " Such a 
foul mouth as thine merits no better company than the 
dirt on which our feet walk ! '* 

The British officers at first were so surprised by this 
sudden action, that they stood appalled, gazing with open 
mouths upon their prostrate friend. It was but a mo- 
ment. Then out leaped their swords, and they made, 
as by one impulse, toward Ben-Thee. Robin More, 
Ensign Burbeck and several other Pennsylvania officers 
rushed to the fray. A group of the Riflemen, who had 
been drawn to the front by the controversy, having heard 
the insult and seen their Captain's act, broke into a loud 
cheer, and drew near with threatening attitude as the 
British officers closed in on Ben-Thee. A serious affray 
impended, when his lordship, the overthrown captain, 
sprang up. His face was covered with mud which he 
tried to wipe off. Spitting, and sputtering and cleaning 
the sand from his mouth, he exclaimed : 

" Hold, gentlemen ! This is my affair ! I claim the 
right to settle it by the code. You shall hear from me, 
sir," — turning to Ben-Thee — " and we shall see whether 
a white-livered Quaker will dare to face a Man on the 
field of honor! " 

" Sir," Ben-Thee replied coolly, " I am at thy service 
at any time or place, in any way thee may elect." 

The British officers retired swearing and threatening; 
but it was noted that as they passed through the re- 
mainder of the American cantonment, their insults were 
limited to mutterings, and were not hurled forth loud- 
mouthed as before. 

"After this, you will have to fight, Captain Owen," 
said Robin More. " There's no way out of it, now ! " 

"I am not sure that I wish to find a way out of 
it As you know, I condemn the duello as a foolish and 
ineffective mode of righting wrongs, to say the least. 
But in this case, I see that there is no other court for 



BEFORE THE WALLS OF CARTAGENA 151 

me to appeal to. I recognize that the honor of my 
countrymen requires that I should meet this brawler in 
the way dictated by custom, though he is not worthy of 
serious attention. I shall accept his challenge, and I ask 
thee to act for me as second." 

" I shall do so with pleasure ; and my only regret in 
the matter is that I cannot have the pleasure of being 
the principal." 

There was not long to wait; for the scant noon meal 
had not been finished when the orderly announced the 
presence of Major Heathcote with a communication from 
Lord Pettybren. It was the expected challenge, which 
was at once accepted. Ben-Thee referred the Major, 
who was a person of most agreeable manners, to his 
friend, Lieutenant More, then present. The British offi- 
cer was pleasantly surprised to find himself met by a gen- 
tleman of as courtly address and polished manners as his 
own, and apparently as thoroughly acquainted with the 
etiquette of the duel. After a brief conference as to 
the day and hour of meeting, and some other prelim- 
inaries, the matter of weapons was taken up. 

" The choice of weapons is of course with you," said 
Major Heathcote ; " but I may venture to suggest that 
swords or pistols are the usual weapons among gentle- 
men in our army and navy, and would be agreeable to 
us." 

Robin excused himself for a short consultation with his 
principal, and soon returned to report that Captain Owen 
proposed that the meeting be limited to three exchanges ; 
the first with muskets, the second with swords, and the 
third, with pistols. 

" The musket ! " exclaimed Major Heathcote, in evi- 
dent surprise. " Why, sir, that is the weapon of the 
common soldier ! " 

" And that is just the reason of my principal's choice," 
was Robin's reply. " I confess that he has some peculiar 
notions about certain things. He claims that it is the 
officers' duty to be masters of the musket, since they 



152 QUAKER BEN 

are made responsible for its mastery by the men. It is 
taken for granted that every officer ought to be familiar, 
if not an expert, with that weapon. In that regard, 
therefore, the two principals ought to meet on equal foot- 
ing. 

"As you undoubtedly have the choice, and I cannot 
urge that the weapon is absolutely unreasonable, I cannot 
deny your right. But you will pardon me if I still hold 
the view that in the Army and Navy at large the musket 
will be held to be a most unbecoming weapon for gentle- 
men to settle their difficulties with. I fancy my princi- 
pal knows little or nothing about its practical use except 
in the drill exercise; though I daresay your friend is 
a capital shot with it." 

" Excuse me, sir ! *' said Robin. " You will probably 
find that Captain Owen is as thoroughly at home with 
sword and pistol. I do not certainly know of his skill 
with the musket; though with the rifle I know him to 
be a dead shot. May I venture to suggest that Lord 
Pettybren should have considered that point before he 
deliberately and so grossly insulted American officers? " 

" Sir, you surprise me! " said the Major. " If I have 
heard aright, the insult came from Captain Owen, who 
committed a personal assault upon my principal." 

" It is quite true ! — but not all the truth. I fancy you 
have not heard of the provocation. As I chanced to be 
a witness of the whole affair, permit me to relate it, in 
a few words." And that he did without varnish or 
partiality. 

" Of course," Major Heathcote remarked, " this does 
not affect my duty to guard my principal's interests, in 
every detail; though I confess it puts Captain Owen be- 
fore me in a different light." 

All the details of the meeting having been agreed upon, 
the Major withdrew after courteous salutations, and with 
a far better opinion of American officers than he had 
heretofore entertained. In fact, he had had little per- 
sonal association with them, and his unfavorable judg- 



BEFORE THE WALLS OF CARTAGENA 153 

ment had been formed, not by the facts, but by the 
rumors, and the atmosphere of prejudice that he had 
breathed in well-nigh the whole British Army and Navy. 

Next morning, shortly after sunrise, a small group of 
officers passed the American guard lines, and made to- 
ward the deep forest beyond. Not far from the river 
bank they entered a sort of cuUde-sac within a thick 
growth, which showed a level space of ground surrounded 
on three sides by trees. It was a secluded spot, and so 
well suited for the purpose, that already it had become 
the favorite meeting-place for officers called to settle their 
quarrels by the then prevailing mode. 

The Americans reached the dueling ground first, — 
Captain Owen, Lieutenant More, the regimental surgeon 
and Ensign Burbeck accompanied by an orderly. They 
had not long to await the coming of the English officers, 
and after mutual salutations and introductions, the 
seconds retired to arrange some remaining preliminaries. 
They then paced off the ground, forty yards, for the 
musket meeting. 

" I need give you no instructions as to your use of 
the weapon," said Robin More, when he had placed his 
man, "since you understand that much better than L 
But might I suggest that you avoid a mortal wound, if 
possible ? A disabling wound quite serves the same pur- 
pose, and! does not involve the unpleasant consequences 
to all concerned in the meeting, of a death, especially of 
so prominent a person as Lord Pettybren. If you can 
use a musket half as well as a rifle, you can easily wing 
your man; and I advise you to do it." 

"Thank thee, friend Robin!" Ben-Thee replied. 
" Thy advice is good. But I shall neither kill nor wound 
my adversary. I shall cut the epaulette from his left 
shoulder, unless my wonted skill shall fail me. Fare- 
well! In case of accident to me you know what to 
do." His voice was without tremor, showing that his 
nerves were unshaken. 

It had been arranged that Major Heathcote should give 



IS4 QUAKER BEN 

the word to the principals standing with muskets at ease. 
At the word " ready " the pieces might be lifted from 
the ground into the position of " aim.'* Between the 
command " fire " and the count " three " the muskets 
might be discharged but not before nor thereafter. 

Both principals being now placed, Major Heathcote 
took post at one side, with both parties in view, and 
called : 

"Gentlemen, are you ready? — (a brief pause) — 
Fire ! One — two — three ! " 

Both pieces exploded almost simultaneously. The 
epaulette on Captain Pettybren's left shoulder was clipped 
off, lifted up and dropped to the ground behind its owner. 
Captain Owen stood like a rock, apparently untouched. 

" Gentlemen,'* said Major Heathcote, " you are entitled 
to a second exchange of shots. Is it your pleasure to 
claim it?" 

" I leave it to his lordship," said Ben-Thee. 

" What says your lordship ? " 

" I am not satisfied. My bullet seems to have missed. 
I will try it again, and I trust with better luck." 

The seconds advanced to their principals to receive 
their weapons, which after being loaded by their orderlies 
in their presence, were returned. As Ben-Thee reached 
out his left arm to receive the gun, Robin noticed a slight 
spot of blood upon the hand. 

" Are you hurt ? " he asked. 

" Hush ! It is a trifle — a mere scratch upon the left 
arm above the elbow. I felt the sting, but didn't know 
there was a wound until I felt the trickle of a few drops 
of blood, and then I noticed the little hole in my sleeve. 
It was not a bad shot for his lordship. But I am in no 
wise disabled." 

" Very well ! " Robin replied. " But as Captain Petty- 
bren has such a great advantage over you in the size 
of the target presented to him, I advise you to show him 
as little space as possible by taking a side wise position." 

" Thank thee again, for good counsel. As I do not 



BEFORE THE WALLS OF CARTAGENA 155 

purpose to kill, so I do not care to be killed or disabled 
from duty. I intend that his lordship shall lose his other 
epaulette this shot, however, if I can draw a fair sight 
upon it If not, I think I shall have to nick one of his 
ears — though that is dangerous sport." 

The ear-nicking was not necessary; but his lordship's 
right epaulette went spinning after the left. Captain 
Petty bren's aim was less fortunate than before, for his 
bullet flew wild. 

" An odd coincidence, that ! " Major Heathcote re- 
marked, pointing to the dislodged shoulder ornament. 

" No coincidence, sir ! " said Lieutenant More, and in- 
formed the Major of the facts. That officer was greatly 
impressed, not only by the American's skill, but by his 
generosity in sparing his principal's life and person, while 
that individual was avowedly doing his best to slay his 
adversary. 

The engagement with muskets being over, and both 
principals ready for action, the meeting with swords was 
arranged. As the gentlemen took their stations, the dis- 
parity in personal appearance was more noticeable. As 
Lord Pettybren was a rather small man, Ben-Thee tow- 
ered quite above hfm. However, the Englishman was 
remarkably agile, had the reputation of being one of the 
ablest swordsmen in the army, and had large experience 
in affairs of this kind, in which he had been almost in- 
variably the victor. 

Now the opponents saluted, and at the word, fell to. 
The first passes were deliberate, each combatant feeling 
his way to the other's skill and method. Greatly to the 
surprise of the Englishman, Captain Owen proved re- 
markably dexterous in the management of his sword. 
His skill in musket-firing was so near akin to backwoods 
use of the rifle, that it had excited little wonder. But 
that in this, the chosen weapon of gentlemen, he should 
hold his own, even for a brief space, against one of 
the best swordsmen of Europe, was truly noteworthy. 
After the preliminary and testing passes, and as both 



IS6 QUAKER BEN 

parties began to warm to their work, and cut and thrust 
grew more frequent and vigorous, it began to appear that 
the easy victory predicted for the Englishman was not 
to be realized. 

The effect upon Lord Pettybren was to irritate him; 
and this was increased by several pricks that he received, 
and the apparent ease with which Captain Owen stood on 
the defense and held off his opponent's attacks. At last, 
with a dexterous twist of his wrist for which the Eng- 
lishman was wholly unprepared, the American seemed to 
wrap his sword blade around that of his adversary, and 
with a turn of the arm that was resistless as the grip 
of a vise, wrenched the weapon from his hand and 
tossed it into a bunch of young royal palms nearby. 

An involuntary exclamation of mingled surprise and 
consternation and exultation arose from the onlookers, 
who had become keenly interested in the combat with its 
doubtful issue. The cry was punctured by a voice not 
recognizable, " Run him through, sir ! " 

His lordship was game. Whatever his vices or de- 
fects, he was not a coward. He folded his arms across 
his breast, and with a dignity of manner that was rare 
with him, looked his opponent firmly and fully in the 
face and coolly said: 

" Strike, sir ! It is your right ! " 

But Ben-Thee had lowered his weapon at once, while 
Robin More ran to Pettybren's side, and proffered him 
his own sword. 

" Take it, sir ! " he cried, putting it into his hand. 
" We are not butchers, to kill in cold blood. My sword 
is of the same or even greater length, and of equally 
good metal. My principal does not wish to strike an 
unarmed man ! " 

Lord Pettybren accepted the sword with a profound 
obeisance. " Thanks, most generous sir," he said, " for 
your great courtesy!" Then he faced Ben-Thee once 
more, and raised the sword in salute. Ben-Thee im- 
mediately responded ; but before the swords were crossed, 



BEFORE THE WALLS OF CARTAGENA 157 

Major Heathcote stretched his arm between them. 

" Hold ! " he cried. " This is hardly regular. I admit 
that we are fairly vanquished, and forbid further action 
on his lordship's part." 

Captain Pettybren at once lowered his sword. " I ac- 
cept my second's decision," he said. " I am vanquished 
by the high courtesy as well as the unsurpassed skill of 
my opponent. I was roughly handled, sir ! " — turning to 
Ben-Thee, " but I confess that my language deserved it. 
I now withdraw it, and apologize for it. Had I known 
as much then of American oncers as I do now, be as- 
sured the offense wouldn't have been given." 

Thereupon he offered his hand to Ben-Thee, who took 
it with a warm pressure and a bright smile that lighted 
up his strong and handsome face. 

" Sure," said the Ensign, " all's well that ands well ; 
though the good anding here sames to have come more 
by good luck nor by good guidance. It's ill jokin' with 
the watch dog, saith the proverb ; an' its warse jokin' wi' 
Death, the Doctor and the Devil, as we have been doin' 
here, and as duelists always do. There's a dale more wis- 
dom shown in our outgangin' nor there was in our in- 
comin', I take it. For what call was there for us to con- 
tribute to the Expedition's mortality report by killin' one 
another, since Yellow Jack is busy enough in that line 
to make our aid suparfluous ? " 

Meanwhile Major Heathcote had told his principal 
the facts as to the loss of his epaulettes. This led to 
renewed thanks for the consideration, and admiration of 
the skill in shooting shown by Captain Owen; to which 
Lord Pettybren added an apology for his own wild work. 

" Not so wild as you suppose, your lordship ! " re- 
sponded Ben-Thee. Thereupon he called for the sur- 
geon, and removing his coat showed his shirt sleeve 
stained with blood. 

" You are hurt, sir ! " exclaimed Lord Pettybren. 

*' A scratch ; a mere scratch ! But your lordship will 
see that your aim was truer than you have supposed. 



iS8 QUAKER BEN 

It came pretty near putting me out of action, and prob- 
ably would have done so if your aim had not been 
sh'ghtly diverted by the jar of my shot felt through 
your shoulder. I congratulate you upon your skill with 
the musket ! " 

It was plain that though courtesy maintained the ap- 
pearance of sympathy and regret, the fact just revealed 
went far to soothe the wounded self-esteem of the Eng- 
lish lord at his failure and defeat, and added to the good 
feeling that had so quickly arisen; a bit of human nature 
which, doubtless, we all can appreciate. 

A sponging off, a little ointment, and a bandage, was 
all the treatment Ben-Thee's slight wound required. 
This given, the quondam adversaries returned to camp in 
high good-humor, and parted in mutual friendliness. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

A DUEL WITH DEATH 

An enemy far more dangerous than the Spanish beset 
the British forces before Cartagena. Lurking in the bogs 
and swamps were the germs that under the hot suns and 
chilly nights swiftly bred divers diseases that made fear- 
ful inroads upon their ranks. The yellow fever broke 
out, and in the ignorance of its causes and the ineffi- 
cient sanitary methods of the day, was soon propagated 
throughout the camp by the hordes of mosquitoes whose 
breeding-grounds were pools that spotted the low sandy 
lands. With these wrought, in malign co-partnership, 
exposure in an unfriendly climate, and insufficient rest 
and food. 

It was pitiful to note the ravages of sickness, the help- 
lessness and despair alike of the victims and their com- 
rades. Heroisms of friendship and comradeship, and de- 
votion to duty worthy of the highest applause, went side 
by side with examples of poltroonery and selfishness that 
showed the depths of depravity to which human nature 
can descend. 

Not long after the duel between Ben-Thee and Lord 
Pettybren, Robin More was taken down with the fever. 
He was on duty with a company of sailors who had 
been detailed for shore service during the siege; and 
as soon as the dreaded symptoms appeared was taken 
to the brigade hospital, a rude structure of logs, boards 
and canvas. The disease made such rapid progress that 
within twenty-four hours a message was sent to his com- 
pany headquarters that he was dying. Captain More was 
at his post on the " Heather," which was on scouting 
duty off the harbor. Lieutenant Ruel Braun at once went 



i6o QUAKER BEN 

over to the hospital, accompanied by a sailor whose reck- 
less and profane character, together with the unsavory 
record that was charged against him, had procured him 
among his messmates the name of " the Pirate." When 
they arrived at the hospital, and were shown to Robin's 
bed, they found him lying upon a rude couch with a sheet 
over his face. 

" He has just died, sir ! " said the orderly, who showed 
them to the place. 

Lieutenant Braun walked to the cot, threw off the sheet 
from the face, and gazed upon the pallid features. 

" Good riddance of bad rubbish ! " he cried, as he 
flung the sheet back across the poor wan face. " He 
was always a snob and hypocrite, too good for his busi- 
ness, and ever trying to bring a parson's morals into a 
seaman's work. In the interest of the service, such fel- 
lows as he are better dead than alive ! " 

As he turned to walk away, he was faced by the Pirate, 
who at first astounded by such an outbreak of heartless- 
ness and malice, had made a quick transition to indignant 
wrath. His fists were clenched. He was breathing hard 
as though struggling to restrain his hot feelings against 
his officer's brutal words. 

" Sir ! " he fairly hissed, " you're a coward and a liar ! 
You're worse than a ghoul. You rob the dead of his 
well-earned name and honor. You ought to be drummed 
out—" 

"Ho! What's this I hear?" the lieutenant inter- 
rupted. " Has Pirate Pete turned pious, too ? What 
sort of language is this to an officer? I'll have you 
seized to the gratings for forty lashes and swung from 
the yard arm ! " And he broke forth into a volley of 
oaths. 

" I dare you to try it ! " cried Pete defiantly. " You 
call me pirate! I'm a better man than you. Ay, 
I know your ways, and I'll see that others know them, 
too! — highway robber and thief as you are! Officer 
or no officer — were you Admiral Vernon himself — I 



A DUEL WITH DEATH i6i 

would damn you all the same for such an act of in- 
humanity. You're a disgrace to human nature, and to 
the colonies, and to the fair name of the British navy! 
When our men hear of this, you'll be the party, sir, not 
I, to go to the gratings or swing from the yard arm. 
And every man Jack of the crew will bear a hand right 
heartily in plying the cat or swinging you off. The men 
loved and respected Mr. More, which they never did you, 
sir! He was a gentleman; fair and kind and honorable 
always — which you are not ! And a better sailor never 
plowed the seas. I'll not deny you that merit ; but when 
that's said, all's said. I'll not serve another day under 
a man like you. The Admiral's willing enough to get 
good sailors for his own ships without pressing them, 
and there's many a fine vessel short of a crew." 

While Pirate Pete was hurling forth this torrent of 
maledictions, seasoned with the hottest oaths. Lieutenant 
Braun had drawn his sword and advanced upon him. 
The Pirate whipped out a huge knife and was about to 
spring upon his officer when Sergeant Alfred Oster en- 
tered the ward, having been hastily summoned by one 
of the orderlies. 

"What is this, my masters?" he said, stepping be- 
tween them. " Isn't there enough death here, that you 
must needs be carving one another? Put up your 
weapons, I bid you ! — Excuse me, Mr. Braun, but I am 
in authority here. Do not compel me to call the guard, 
for it would surely go hard with you both for making 
such disturbance among our sick people." 

The remonstrance was heeded. The two men left the 
hospital. Sergeant Oster went to Robin's cot, and com- 
posed his limbs, smoothed out the disordered sheet, and 
reverently and decently covered the face. Then he had 
the cot with its silent burden moved to a little side- 
room, reserved for higher officers, and which chanced to 
be vacant. After that he sent a message to the tent of 
Captain Owen, informing him of the sickness and death 
of his friend. 



i62 QUAKER BEN 

The message was not received until early the next 
morning, when Ben-Thee returned from picket duty. He 
at once hastened to the hospital, and was shown into 
the little room where Robin had been put. As the door 
was opened, the orderly uttered an exclamation of horror. 
Ben-Thee pushed into the room. The cot was empty! 
The sheet was dragged off, and lay partly upon the bed 
and partly on the floor. In one corner with his head 
against a rude stand used to hold a wash-bowl and pitcher 
of water, lay Robin More face downward and forehead 
pillowed upon an arm. Beside him lay the pitcher — 
empty. 

" Haste for the surgeon ! " cried Ben-Thee and the 
orderly sped away. Then he kneeled and put his hand 
upon his friend's face. It was warm and was wet with 
sweat. He seemed to be sleeping soundly. Ben-Thee 
lifted him up, and laid him back upon the cot. He did 
not move, but slept on. And when the surgeon came, 
he still was sleeping. After examination, that official de- 
clared that he would undoubtedly recover. The fever 
was broken, and with careful nursing the patient would 
soon be well. 

But what was the mystery — or the miracle — of his 
deliverance from apparent death? It soon appeared. 
During the night Robin awoke. He was burning up with 
fever, and consumed with thirst. By the moonlight 
shining in through the uncurtained window, he saw the 
water pitcher. He dragged himself from the cot to 
the stand, seized the pitcher, which was full, and drained 
its contents. Then strength failed, and he sank to the 
floor. He remembered no more until he awoke to find 
Ben-Thee at his side, his fever gone, and although very 
weak, with hope of life before him. 

Let the medical men explain this cure — for it is an 
actual case the author here relates — with what technic- 
alities they may, the simple fact seems to be that the 
great draught of water, a whole pitcher full, cast the 
patient into a profuse perspiration which broke the fever. 



A DUEL WITH DEATH 163 

permitting a healthful natural sleep. And so, with the 
blessing of Providence, Robin More was saved from 
death. 

Several weeks of faithful nursing followed, during 
which Sergeant Oster, the Head Steward of the ward, 
was unremitting in his care. Ben-Thee gave all the time 
he could spare from duty. Captain More, who had now 
been informed of his son's sickness, also came in to cheer 
up the patient and help on his recovery. 

He heard from the orderly the tale of his first officer's 
outrage upon the supposed corpse of his son, and burn- 
ing with indignation took his way toward the camp, 
where a squad of his own men were stationed with other 
seamen. He found that Pirate Pete had been true to 
his threat to let the men know of Braun's brutal con- 
duct. The story had so wrought up their passions, that 
they rose against their officer, and breaking through all 
discipline and fear, hooted and hissed and greeted him 
with muttered curses and threats wherever he went 
throughout their quarters. 

Powerless to control the storm, Braun left the camp 
for brigade headquarters, as he declared, to have the 
whole company put under arrest for riot. Captain More 
found the boatswain in command. The anger of the 
men had been somewhat abated by the good news from 
Robin, and they greeted the Captain with hearty cheers. 
Yet as they crowded around him, they roundly averred 
that they would receive no more orders from a man of 
Lieutenant Braun's kidney. 

"Softly, my men!" the Captain said. "Let us go 
about this matter in the right way. We can't afford to 
have any of you put to distress for your actions in 
this affair. Of course, I sympathize with your feelings. 
But discipline is discipline; and the articles of war are 
your law and mine. I too will go to the brigade head- 
quarters, and let the General know the facts in the case, 
and we will see what can be done about it. I ask you 
to wait in the quiet discharge of all duties until you 



i64 QUAKER BEN 

hear from me. Will you promise me to do this?" 

" Ay, ay, sir ! " was the chorused response. 

When Captain More reached headquarters, the ad- 
jutant assured him that Lieutenant Braun had not been 
there. They knew nothing of him, or of the incident. 
To make short of the story, he disappeared from the 
army as though the earth had swallowed him. Some be- 
lieved that he had deserted to the enemy, capping his 
villainies with treason. Some declared that he had been 
suddenly seized with yellow fever, had died, and 
been hurried to an unknown grave in the great stress 
and panic of those pestilence blighted days. At all 
events, he was gone — " a good riddance of bad rub- 
bish " and ere long Robin More, now fairly convalescing, 
was put on board a transport bound for Philadelphia on 
special service, and sailed away for the Capes of the Dela- 
ware. 

Meanwhile, Sergeant Oster was winning golden opin- 
ions from surgeons, chaplains and officers and men 
generally, for his courage, fidelity and efficiency in the 
care of the sick. He never lost heart. He never flinched 
from any service. He faced fearlessly the most un- 
promising cases. He not only directed work in the wards 
of which he had been made head steward, with intelligent 
diligence and skill, but by his willing part in menial and 
dangerous duties, led the nurses, as well as assigned them 
to their work. He was often warned by the surgeons 
and others to spare himself, lest he be cut down suddenly ; 
but he simply smiled and bowed his thanks, and went on 
as before. 

One of his constant companions in these humane labors 
with the living and for the dead was Chaplain Addison 
Henry from one of the New York colonial regiments. 
His breezy voice and cheery presence sent a flood of sun- 
shine through the wards when he visited them, as he 
often did. His prayers and holy ministries for the sick 
and the dying, consoled many heart-heavy and despair- 
ing souls. His bright spirit and hearty ways were better 



A DUEL WITH DEATH 165 

than medicine to cure nostalgia — homesickness — 
which baffled surgeons' skill and sent many a fine fellow 
to his grave, literally pining to death. Everywhere the 
two men, Chaplain and Hospital Steward, went on their 
beneficent way, true angels of mercy, and their hearts 
grew together in this holy comradeship. 

At last there came a day when Alfed Oster lay down 
to die. By his strenuous and often sleepless toil he had 
drained his energies to their last feeble remnants. The 
most skilled surgeons labored to save him. The ablest 
nurses waited upon him. Oster was grateful for every 
kind word and act. His buoyant spirit rallied against the 
powers of disease, and brightened the gloom of nearing 
dissolution. But at last he said to his new friend, the 
Chaplain, that the end had come. 

Then in the sacred privacy of a death-bed confession, 
he told him the story of his great sin against his Heav- 
enly Father and his penitent return to Him. " During 
these long months of absence from home, I have sought 
to atone — no, I do not mean that ! — but to make some 
amends for my sin, and give proof of my penitence and 
sincerity by faithfulness to duty in my new sphere. I 
would like a longer trial, and a further opportunity to 
serve. But I hope my efforts have not been in vain. I 
am trusting my Saviour's Passion for all who have 
sinned. What can I do more ? Is not that enough ? " 

"It is, it is, my friend!" the Chaplain said, and his 
voice trembled with emotion. " That is my own trust, 
my sole ground for hope; and as I rest my own soul 
thereon, wholly, wholly! — I can commend it with con- 
fidence to you." 

" I have told you already — of my mother — and sis- 
ter," the dying man resumed, but with feebler and more 
broken voice. " May I ask you to let them know how I 
died? They do not know — I hope they may never 
know ! — the story of my guilt ! But — it will comfort 
— them to hear that I did my duty to the last. Send to 
them my dearest love — and tell them I hope to see them 



i66 QUAKER BEN 

in a better life. Fare — well! Now read to me the 
story — of the — Prodigal Son." 

The Chaplain opened his pocket Bible at the fifteenth 
chapter of St. Luke's Grospel, and read the touching 
story. . . " For this my son was dead, and is alive 
again, he was lost, and is found ! "... As he ended 
the parable with these words, he noted that the Sergeant's 
lips moved as if he were trying to repeat them after him. 

He shut the Book, and kneeled in prayer. 

When he was done, and as he spread his hands above 
the dying man for the beautiful apostolic benediction, 
he saw that the seal of death was already falling upon 
his comrade's face. ..." Grace, Mercy and Peace 
from God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, be with you 
and abide, now and forever more! Amen." . . . 
He knelt on, in silent prayer, and watched until the great 
change had come. Then he arose and called the orderly, 
and together they composed the corpse for the burial. 

In the mighty harvest of death that was being reaped 
everywhere upon land and sea, before the walls of Car- 
tagena, there was neither time nor inclination for much 
formality or wonted pomp in the burial of the dead. 
But so deep had been the impression made by Hospital 
Steward Oster's rare fidelity and beautiful devotion to 
his trying duty, that he was buried with honors of war 
denied to many of high rank. It was a spontaneous and 
voluntary tribute, that men rarely withhold from gen- 
uine acts of self-denying heroism. Most of all, he was 
mourned by the convalescents who had known his lov- 
ing care and skill. 

Among those who followed the Sergeant to the grave, 
and whose company furnished the firing squad, was Ben- 
Thee, the sole repository, save Chaplain Henry now, of 
the dark chapter in Oster's life. Ben-Thee marked the 
grave, which had been made beneath a tall royal palm, 
with a board on which was carved a rude cross, and the 
words, " Hospital Steward Alfred Oster. In Peace." 
It was not much; but it was a tribute of sincere respect 



A DUEL WITH DEATH 167 

for one of whom it could be truly said, " He was dead, 
but is alive again; he was lost, but is found." 

The carnival of military inconsequence and disaster 
on the plains of Cartagena, ended in the assault upon a 
castle and redoubt that bore the name of St. Lazarus. 
It lay back from the harbor's entrance on an eminence 
forty or fifty feet high, but was overlooked by the 
brow of a hill that entirely commanded it. The redoubt 
was in itself insignificant, though advantageously situa- 
ted for defense. It was a square of fifty feet in dimen- 
sions with three demibastions having two guns in each 
face, one in each flank, and three in the curtain. The 
entire British force available for the service was mar- 
shaled for an attempt upon this redoubt. It was reso- 
lutely and successfully defended by the Spaniards, and 
the British failure to take it practically ended the cam- 
paign against Cartagena. 

In this, however, the most effective Spanish auxiliary, 
the yellow fever, had a conspicuous part. A current 
record of the period says that " after St. Lazarus the 
troops sickened fast. Between Thursday morning and 
Friday afternoon they had dwindled from 6645 to 3200; 
and of these 1200 were Americans." One is reminded 
by such figures of the daily sick and mortality reports 
that came to General Shafter's headquarters during the 
American siege of Santiago in the Cuban campaign 
of 1898. 

The British fleet withdrew from Cartagena on Mar 
12, 1 74 1. But not willing to return home with such 
small show of glory, it sailed for Panama intent upon 
conquest there. After a period of dawdling, General 
Wentworth concluded that he had not land force enough 
to warrant assault; and so the combined sea and land 
forces sailed away to try their fortunes in Cuba. 

They passed Santiago in the track of Admiral Samp- 
son's fleet of 1898, but as they looked up at the frowning 
walls of the Moro that guarded then and still guards the 
narrow gate to the harbor and the town, they concluded 



i68 QUAKER BEN 

it was too strongly fortified to justify an attack. The 
fleet therefore pushed on to the fine large harbor of 
Guantanamo. Here again the Americans of 1898 were 
in their wake. The writer recalls an official visit here 
to the well-ordered encampment of our marines, and of 
a battalion of Cuban volunteers, and later the imposing 
display of the united American fleets rendevoused in the 
spacious bay. 

Here again Wentworth blocked action by declaring 
that he could not get his artillery over land to attack 
Santiago. Perhaps he was wise in declining the ven- 
ture. It will be remembered by Cuban campaigners of 
1898 that the troops of General Wheeler, led by the 
Rough Riders of Wood and Roosevelt, made the difficult 
landing at Diquiri, and pushed on through the coast 
range, after the skirmish at Las Guasimas, to the plain 
of San Juan, just back of Santiago. Something of the 
same plan seems to have been in the minds of the leaders 
of the British expedition of 1741. But Guantanamo 
was too far distant to warrant such rapid movements, 
and with the scant facilities of that day a landing at 
Diquiri would have been impossible. 

In all these operations the American colonial troops 
took part; and it is interesting to trace such parallel as 
exists between their course and that of their countrymen 
one hundred and fifty-eight years afterward. In the 
meantime the antagonism between the dashing sailor 
Vernon and the dawdling soldier Wentworth had devel- 
oped into open hostility. Admiral Vernon, whose cour- 
teous self-control had long been strained, finally broke 
forth in indignant remonstrance. In the end both com- 
manders were recalled to England. 

The American colonial troops appear to have been 
disbanded in 1742. But it was a scant and broken rem- 
nant that returned. Of the Massachusetts quota of five 
hundred, only fifty lived to get home. Little better for- 
tune attended the Pennsylvania contingent as at last 
they passed the Capes of the Delaware and landed, a 



A DUEL WITH DEATH 169 

grateful company, in Philadelphia. Among the few 
who returned were Ben-Thee and Arthur Burbeck. On 
the hostile shores of the Spanish Main, and in the waters 
of many a sea between, lay the bones of several hundred 
of the strong men who left with them in the young 
autumn of 1740, full of high valor and bright hopes. 
And more than twenty thousand stalwart young Britons 
shared with these unfortunates the mournful issue of 
that fatal Expedition. 

Scarce a trace of it now remains upon the face of 
American history. But among the few is one that will 
never perish. Among the Virginia contingent was Cap- 
tain Lawrence Washington, who subsequently named 
his beautiful seat upon the Potomac, after the English 
Admiral — " Mount Vernon." In due course, this passed 
into the possession of George Washington, and will re- 
main a sacred spot to all lovers of civil liberty, as the 
place where rest the ashes of the " Father of their coun- 
try.'' 



CHAPTER XIX 

DOROTHY GOES UPON HER MISSION 

The special meeting of Friends to consider the mission 
of Dorothy and Kersey Owen, was not unanimous in 
opinion as to its propriety. Some opposed it as unwise 
in the present irritated condition of the Dela wares to 
whom first of all Dorothy proposed to go. If ill should 
befall the messengers, the consequences would be unfor- 
tunate; for it would anger the frontier people, and 
would be made a cause or an excuse for retaliation, and 
so bring on hostilities. 

On the other hand, were warmly urged the example 
and teachings of Christ and His Apostles; the custom 
of Friends to send out messengers on missions of in- 
quiry and evangelization ; and their especial duty to those 
who had so long dwelt among them, and who had been 
grievously wronged. Was not " beginning at Jerusa- 
lem " the method of primitive Christians ? Then there 
was that sense of a Divine call, the voice of the Spirit 
which the Owen Friends had felt so deeply and surely. 
Friends must consider that! 

As to danger, was there not the promise of the Divine 
presence, as good now as ever : " Lo, I am with you al- 
ways ? " This appeal to conscience, to the higher nature, 
to the spiritual elements, to the demand of duty and the 
Divine will, prevailed. The sending forth of the mes- 
sengers was approved, and a letter was duly drawn up 
and signed in behalf of the true brethren of Onas (Wil- 
liam Penn) commending the messengers to their brothers 
of the Indian tribes, and in particular to the Delawares. 

Two days thereafter, while busy with preparations 
for his journey, Father Owen had a call from Louper 



DOROTHY GOES UPON HER MISSION 171 

Jan. " I have come," said he, " to apply for the place 
of guide and interpreter in your expedition to the In- 
dians. I know the country to which you are going. I 
am well versed in all the methods of camping and trav- 
eling in forest and on stream, and getting from them 
food and shelter and all needed comforts. I have had 
long experience with Indians, and know the dialects of 
several tribes. I propose to undertake for you all those 
arrangements necessary to make you and your daughter 
comfortable; to protect your health from inclement 
weather and other threatening conditions; and also to 
shield you from parties, both white and red, who may 
try to plunder or molest you. You will need such a 
man, I am sure, and I believe I can give you satis- 
faction." 

" Sit down, friend ! What is thy name ? " Father 
Owen was so far impressed, as to be willing to consider 
this plausible proposition. 

" It is John Cole, sir ; but I am better known as Jan 
Cole, or on the border simply as Louper Jan." 

"Has thee brought any recommendations? — for 
thee is a stranger to me." 

"No written papers, if that is what you mean. I 
never had call for such, in my line. But I came here 
in the employ of Mr. Benjamin Owen, as one of the 
guides for his pack-train. He is off in the Spanish war, 
or I would refer you to him. He knows all about me 
and my merits as a forest guide and ranger, or he would 
not have employed me and brought me here. You prob- 
ably do not remember, but he presented me to you with 
the other men at Clarke's Inn, on the day of our first 
arrival five years ago. Your daughters and sons also 
saw me at the Fair and foot races with Mr. Ben-Thee 
and with Arthur and Andy Burbeck and Cato." 

After a brief deliberation. Father Owen remarked: 
" Well, friend, I believe we will need thee, or someone 
like thee; and if my daughter is favorable, and we can 
agree on the terms, I feel inclined to include thee in our 



172 QUAKER BEN 

party. Call here to-morrow, about this time, and I will 
let thee know our decision." 

Dorothy at once approved. "If Ben-Thee, who 
probably knew him and his merits, esteemed him so 
highly as to give him a trusted place in his train, surely 
he will serve well enough in our train ! " Her argument 
overleaped the vast difference in conditions and functions 
in the two positions, but it sufficed. She was at her 
father's office the next day when Jan called, and the 
man's appearance was so far favorable that he was en- 
gaged; and in all their preparations proved a valuable 
helper. 

The parting with Mother Lydia was touching and tear- 
ful. But the good woman having once been convinced 
that the mission was a religious duty, and that her loved 
ones were following the Divine call, bowed submissively, 
and controlled all violent outbreaks of grief. Phoebe 
and the Owen boys (Grace remaining with the mother) 
mounted horses and accompanied Dorothy and the father 
beyond the Fords of Schuylkill. They were joined in 
this by a number of others, personal friends and well- 
wishers, and a few of the heads of Meeting, thus form- 
ing a goodly escort. 

The white canvas-covered wagon drawn by a pair of 
horses and driven by a trusty man who had long been in 
the Owen employ, led the van. Close by came a couple 
of pack-horses loaded with sundry camping conveniences, 
with Louper Jan as general superintendent. Dorothy 
and Kersey Owen followed on horseback, and around 
them and behind them rode the family and near friends. 
Then came the friendly escort, riding loosely four 
abreast, and forming quite a cavalcade. 

When at last the escort paused, and final farewells 
were said, and from a summit of one of the beautiful 
hills beyond the Schuylkill, Dorothy looked back upon 
the retiring cavalcade until all had disappeared among 
the woods through which the road wound, there dawned 
upon her a vision of the magnitude of her undertaking. 



DOROTHY GOES UPON HER MISSION 173 

As she turned away with a sigh, and galloped to over- 
take the wagon train, she felt that now indeed she had 
cut loose from home and friends and civilization, and 
had committed herself without reserve into the care of 
Him upon Whom henceforth she must wholly depend. 
For although her father and the helpers he had provided, 
prevented her from a feeling of absolute loneliness, she 
was sensible that once they should have come to the In- 
dian settlements, these would be but weakling barriers 
between her and the overwhelming floods of ignorance, 
passion, prejudice, and superstition to which she would 
be exposed, unless the Divine Hand should withhold 
them and uphold her. Upbraiding herself for her mo- 
mentary faltering of faith, she lifted her heart Heaven- 
ward, and calmly set her face to the west. 

There was much in the character of the country 
through which they slowly passed for several days, to 
win the attention of the wayfarers. Dorothy was not 
unfamiliar with forest scenery, yet her interest rarely 
flagged. For, with all her deeper concern for things 
spiritual, she had a large and true sympathy with nature, 
that made her alive, in all her faculties, to the animated 
life covertly and openly manifest everywhere around her. 

Occasional gaps in the forestage, covered with jagged 
stumps and heaps of blackened brands, showed where a 
pioneer was hewing out a homestead from the continu- 
ous woods that shaded the rich soil. A few straggling 
villages, with here and there at favorable points a more 
ambitious settlement, appeared along the route. Rude 
inns at rare intervals dotted the trail, the centers at 
times of groups of packmen, teamsters and immigrants. 
But still the native wilderness held its own so long un- 
disturbed sway, and seemed to smile in the face of such 
petty scars as man had made upon its vastness. 

Dense masses of trees, both deciduous and evergreen, 
rolled over hills, climbed mountains, crept across valleys, 
and edged their undulating course along rivers and 
creeks, often seeming to stand as thick as grain-stalks 



174 QUAKER BEN 

in a wheat-field or grass-blades on a mead. At times 
the monotonous forest's face was broken by an open 
space which the natives had utilized for corn-fields, in 
which squaws only lately might have been seen at work 
hoeing the young stalks. Now, a group of deer were 
quietly grazing therein, — an antlered stag with does 
and their fawns, lifting their heads to gaze at the pass- 
ers-by, or timidly ambling into the edge of the woods till 
the coast should be clear again. 

" Alas ! " said Dorothy, " that this peaceful scene 
should be scarred by the cruel hands of human hate, and 
its beautiful solitudes echo with discords of war!" 

"It is indeed pitiful, my daughter!" was Father 
Owen's reply. " And it seems a sad reflection that all 
this boundless wealth of nature, with its measureless 
possibilities for the growth of civilization, should serve 
no better end than the battle-ground and hunting-field 
of a few savage tribes. Could the great Creator have 
meant so much of earth's most fertile spaces to be thus 
lost to humanity's highest good ? " 

" Did not the Creator," Dorothy rejoined, " who has 
made of one blood all the nations of the earth, and who 
has determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds 
of their habitations, determine for these red tribes this 
great wilderness for their bounds and habitation?" 

" It may be so, indeed. And it may even be that we 
Englishmen are the transgressors, and have overleaped 
our appointed bounds, and obtruded upon the Heaven 
appointed habitations of others. If so, may the Good 
Father forgive us, and order all things for the best! 
Yet, surely, were the red men to submit their lives even 
partly to the law and yoke of Christ, there would be 
here enough for them and enough for us, and enough 
for millions yet to come after us! Can the All-Father 
approve that such immense acreages should lie waste and 
unimproved while multitudes of His human children are 
landless, homeless, foodless? But these are deep prob- 
lems, my child. Let us forward in faith to the duty of 



DOROTHY GOES UPON HER MISSION 175 

the hour, as it lies in our conscience and judgment, and 
leave the results to Grod." 

At John Harris's ferry (now Harrisburg) they made 
a few days' stay, finding there Mrs. Arthur Burbeck and 
her boy Andy. They also met Mrs. Esther Harris, who 
was Kate Burbeck's aunt, and who not only gave them 
good advice as to supplies needed for their journey, but 
was able to sell them most of these from her husband's 
country store. 

Dorothy, who had taken a great fancy to Andy Bur- 
beck when he visited Philadelphia in Ben-Thee's train 
in 1737, was anxious to have him go with them, for a 
little while at least, as her special attendant. He was 
now a stout lad of fourteen or fifteen, well versed in 
border ways, keen-fitted and skillful, full of healthful 
life and spirits, good-tempered, and with all his rollick- 
ing ways, a cautious, observant and close-mouthed 
youth, wise and prudent beyond his years. The rough 
school in which he had been reared, had been a rare 
discipline for him, and he had rarely profited by it. 

His mother, a woman of strong natural abilities, had 
taught him to read from the Bible and the Westminster 
Shorter Catechism. Many portions of the former, and 
all the answers to the latter he knew by heart. Besides 
these two books, his scant library held Bunyan's " Pil- 
grim's Progress " and his " Holy War." These, the 
latter especially, were his favorite volumes ; and though 
he could not enter into the inner spiritual sense of these 
masterly productions, he found them an unfailing source 
of interest. His vivid imagination supplied the back- 
ground and infilling for the author's pictures, and gave 
interpretations and added accessories that would have 
caused the writer's ears to tingle, could he have shared 
the boy's confidence and grasped his views. These books 
created a new world for the lad, exciting, full of inci- 
dent, and peopled with creatures of a strange sort, with 
whom he had familiar converse, when the practical du- 
ties of frontier life gave him a little pause. 



176 QUAKER BEN 

As Andy had been left by the absent father, especially 
commissioned to be his mother's helper and protector, 
Dorothy's scheme was not favored at first. But the sub- 
stantial offer of the rich merchant was so tempting, and 
the advantages otherwise so promising, that Aunt Esther 
advised acceptance, agreeing to look after her niece in 
Andy's room, should occasion require. Thus Andy, 
not unwillingly, but with all a boy's eagerness for new 
adventures, took up his role of personal attendant and 
body-guard of the fair missionary, of whom he was 
thenceforth a devoted servant, champion and friend. 
He transferred to her and with augmented fervor, the 
chivalrous attachment which he had cherished for her 
sister Grace ever since that day of the Academy foot 
races when he won the soubriquet of " Grace's Kiss." 

The coming of the bright and ready-handed boy into 
the little camp was welcomed by all save one. Louper 
Jan had established himself oyer and around Dorothy's 
tent as her special protector. It was a gradual process, 
but progressive by ceaseless increments, until it became 
at last an embarrassment and annoyance. At all hours 
of the day he hovered around her, taking or making oc- 
casions for obtruding himself with proffered offices. 
Such attentions were as unwelcome as they were un- 
necessary; and at last Dorothy felt compelled quietly to 
rebuke them. This checked but did not end the annoy- 
ance; and a large factor in the engagement of Andy 
Burbeck was the wish to place a more effective barrier 
to these disagreeable intrusions. Thus Louper Jan was 
the one exception to those who cordially welcomed the 
lad, for he shrewdly suspected the real cause of Andy's 
coming. 

At Harris's store the Indians were frequent callers, 
trading their furs for sundry supplies and for rum. 
Thence they found their way to the Owen camp, and with 
these straggling visitors Dorothy's mission began. Har- 
ris was a fur trader, and long, rude structures served 
as storehouses in which the skins were kept until oppor- 



DOROTHY GOES UPON HER MISSION 177 

tunity came for shipment to Philadelphia by pack-trains. 

Regard for his own safety led Harris to limit his sales 
of rum to the savages; and this at one time led to his 
being tied to a tree with threats of burning by one in- 
dignant party. However, he was released by another 
party, and so escaped with a temporary scare and brief 
inconvenience. But with Mrs. Esther the Indians, 
whether tipsy or sober, took no such liberties. She had 
the reputation of being even a better trader than her 
husband. She was strong, active, exceedingly vigorous 
and most courageous. When the Indians, chiefs or 
braves, became unruly through drink, she had been 
known to box their ears, not with dainty coquetting taps 
as of milady's fan, but with the forceful stroke of a 
muscular woman. 

She was an expert in paddling the canoe. She could 
swim the wide Susquehanna in the spring floods. Few 
men could rival her for skill or endurance in horseback 
riding. She was a borderside Amazon; her muscles of 
steel were directed by an unbending will, an intrepid 
heart and^ at times a woman's tender spirit. 

As the day drew towards the gloaming, Dorothy came 
down to the Harris store to make some simple purchases. 
Mrs. Esther Harris who waited upon her, bade the maid 
who acted as occasional assistant, go to an upper room 
for a required article. As the place was dark, she lit 
a tallow candle, which she held in her hand without a 
candlestick and mounted the stair. Presently she came 
back to make some inquiry, but without the light. 

" Where is your candle ? " asked Mrs. Esther. 

" I set it in the flax-seed barrel, till I should return." 

" But there's no flax-seed there ! " 

" O yes, ma'am ! — back in the corner just beyant the 
dure—" 

" Great God, woman ! That's the new powder barrel ! 
Flee for your lives ! Out of the store, all of ye ! " she 
cried to the customers and loungers. 

Most of them fled at once into the street and afar. A 



178 QUAKER BEN 

few stood for a moment transfixed with terror, and then 
followed. Mrs. Esther dashed up the stairway — into 
the room. There, facing her as she entered, stood the 
blazing candle, with its long burnt wick glowing in the 
center, thrust into the massed grains of powder in the 
open barrel! She tiptoed to it with step soft and swift 
as a panther's lest the jar of her tread upon the floor 
might dislodge the snuff, and cause the explosion which 
she came to prevent. With one hollowed hand she 
shielded the long snuff, and with the other took out 
daintily, quickly, deftly, the candle from its perilous 
receptacle, and descended the stair — safe, safe! And 
seemingly without a sign of nerve-shock! 

There stood Dorothy — alone! Her face was color- 
less. Her eyes were fixed upon the door through which 
Mrs. Esther had disappeared and through which she 
now emerged holding aloft her still burning candle. 

" God be praised ! Thee is safe ! " exclaimed Dor- 
othy. 

" God be praised that you are safe ! " was the re- 
sponse. " Why didn't you run, Miss, as I told you ? " 
queried Esthfer as she quenched her light. 

" I do not know. I couldn't. I felt that I must 
wait for thee ! " 

" And where is that careless hussy of a maid, I won- 
der?" 

Now Dorothy could smile — though it seemed too 
awful a situation, even when the danger was past, for 
the lighter emotions — as she recalled what had oc- 
curred. It was like the flash of a passing sunbeam, but 
was indelibly fixed upon her mind. Stalwart Indian 
warriors, and white hunters and farmers, rushing madly 
to the door, struggling in the jam ; shouting and swear- 
ing and praying; pushing their way out, tumbling over 
one another in their haste, and then scudding across the 
street toward the river. They were thus following in 
the wake of the agile maid who, with fluttering hair and 
swinging arms and piercing cries, never stopped until 



DOROTHY GOES UPON HER MISSION 179 

she had jumped into the edge of the stream. Here she 
crouched with face buried in her hands, awaiting the 
dreadful explosion that would wreck the life and property 
of her mistress, and sobbing hysterically as she rocked 
to and fro. Thence at last she was recalled by Mrs. 
Esther's loud summons to come home. 

" Madam," said Dorothy, " thee is a heroine ! A 
braver deed than this, history does not chronicle." 

" Tush ! It was nought ! But how I would have 
liked to see the Indians run! Yet I cannot understand, 
Miss, why you didn't run yourself! " 

" No more can I ! " quoth Dorothy. And there the 
matter rested. For now the scattered fugitives, red and 
white^ began to return, and discuss the incident in strident 
tones. 

" White squaw much brave ! Queen Esther great 
Chieftain ! " was the Indians' comment. But the whites 
varied their unanimous verdict as to the courageousness 
of the act, by suggestions of the hardihood amounting 
to folly at the terrible risk the women took. 

From that day on a friendship, as strong as it seemed 
strange between two persons of such opposite characters 
and conditions, sprang up between Dorothy and Esther 
Harris, lasting long and destined to have an important 
influence upon the life of at least one of the two. 



CHAPTER XX 

ROBIN MORE COMES HOME FROM THE WAR 

Still feeble from the effects of his sickness, Robin 
More was put on board the " Boston," a transport bound 
from Jamaica for Philadelphia. Many sick and con- 
valescent and wounded soldiers were being sent home; 
most of them recruits enlisted from Pennsylvania, Vir- 
ginia and the Carolinas. It was not a cheerful company 
to sail with under any circumstances. But those who 
have made a like voyage from the West Indies on nine- 
teenth century transports, furnished with modem com- 
forts and aids for the sick, sad as their experience may 
have been, can have but a dim conception of the miser- 
ies of such a trip in the middle of the eighteenth century. 
There was, however, one inspiring thought, which for 
a while, at least, animated all — the ship was homeward 
bound ! 

The smell of the sea was a tonic to Robin More. He 
felt stronger with every league off shore; and ere the 
island was lost in the horizon, his interest in affairs, of 
late so nearly atrophied, began to return. He even had 
strength to do some kindly offices to those of his fellow 
voyagers whose condition was far worse than his own; 
a service as gratefully received as it was greatly needed. 
Such gracious acts by an officer were unexpected; for 
the sense of brotherhood was not so keen then as now, 
and the habit of helpfulness, particularly among army 
and navy people, was not so prevalent nor so well or- 
ganized as in our day. In this at least, our age has 
made great progress toward better social ideals. 

Several incidents occurred during the voyage, which, 
while depressing to most of the passengers, and threat- 



HOME FROM THE WAR i8i 

ening serious results, acted like a stimulus upon Robin; 
quickening his vitality and adding to his strength. His 
experience as a mariner, his familiarity with danger, 
and his valor as a man, caused his spirits to rise in the 
face of difficulties^ and gave him a wholesome and at last 
a commanding influence among all on board. Off San 
Domingo the vessel was chased by a privateer carrying 
the enemy's colors. It was a hot chase and a long one. 
The transport was heavily laden, and a poorer sailer 
under the close reefs that the strong wind and high seas 
compelled. 

Late in the afternoon the pursuer was so near, that 
capture seemed certain. The " Boston " carried but one 
gun. This was given to Robin's charge. Choosing 
from the heartiest of the soldiers a gun crew whom he 
thought he could depend upon, he rallied the despondent 
invalids, and prepared for a stout resistance. 

" Better take our chances in a fight for escape," he 
cried, "than the certainty of disease and death in the 
enemy's odious prisons; or of being forced to serve 
on Spanish ships against our country! Take heart! 
They will hardly venture to launch their boats in such a 
sea as this. You have been cursing the storm and the 
waves, which are surely unfriends to landsmen ; but they 
will prove our salvation now." 

Everything in the shape of a weapon was seized and 
distributed among the convalescents. The very fact 
that they were armed, and that there was something to 
do, with a chance of a successful defense, aroused their 
spirits and quickened their energies. Now the ships 
were within hailing distance, and a call was made in bad 
English to lay-to and surrender. 

" What shall I answer the cursed Spanish privateer? " 
the " Boston's " master asked of Robin. 

" Tell him to come and gtt us ! " was the prompt reply. 

And " Come and get us ! " was the response bellowed 
through the trumpet across the rough sea. This was 
followed by an outburst of hearty British cheers. 



i82 QUAKER BEN 

"That's right, lads!" said Robin: "Give 'em another 
like that! And stand by to resist boarders! Mean- 
while rU send them your compliments." 

A rare skill in gunnery was one of Robin's sea-craft 
accomplishments, and the gun, which he had been care- 
fully training upon the Spaniard, was fired, while re- 
newed shouts followed the cannon's crack like an echo. 
The shot was so well delivered that it created a great 
disturbance on the enemy's crowded deck, and led her 
to draw off to a more respectful distance. 

She answered Robin's " compliments " with several 
shots; but between the heavy rolling seas and the poor 
Spanish gunnery, they passed harmlessly by. A second 
shot from the Boston's piece played among the priva- 
teer's rigging; while a third, aimed at the boats which 
the crew was preparing to launch, splashed in the water 
close by the ship's hull. The first boat launched was 
immediately swamped, and that ended the attempt to at- 
tack in that way. 

Meanwhile, the " Boston's " master had concluded to 
venture more sail. The seamen mounted the swaying 
masts. Reefs were shaken out. The ship drove on be- 
fore the wind at a high speed until in the nightfall the 
foe was lost to sight. Then speed was slackened; and 
when morning dawned, no enemy was in view. Robin 
in his courtly manner congratulated the master in behalf 
of his passengers on his gallant spirit and good seaman- 
ship. To which the master replied, like the bluff, hon- 
est sailor, that he was: 

"All right enough, sir, thankee kindly! It was a 
close shave, an' I did my best. But I reckon that the 
* best ' lay in callin' on you to help. It's thanks to you, 
sir, that we're not all on our way to an infernal Spanish 
prison pen, or in Davy Jones's locker. So stand by, 
lads, and three cheers for Mr. More ! " The cheers 
were given with a will, the soldiers heartily joining with 
the crew. 

This was only the beginning of their misadventures. 



HOME FROM THE WAR 183 

A few days thereafter, the ship took fire. A panic 
seized the soldiers, and thereby threatened a graver 
peril than even the conditions justified. Matters looked 
hopeless. But here again Robin came to the rescue. 
He had so won the confidence of the unfortunate pas- 
sengers, that they at once grew calm under his orders, 
took their places in the fire brigade that he had hastily 
organized, and saved the " Boston " from the most ter- 
rible of ocean calamities. 

Yet another peril the unlucky transport was called to 
face. One of those thick fogs with which navigators 
of the New Jersey coasts are unhappily familiar, brought 
the ship into a critical position. Then for a brief space 
the fog lifted. It was enough. Robin's experienced 
eye recognized the shore upon which the master who 
had completely lost his bearings, was driving the vessel. 
He raised a warning cry. He stood by the Captain's 
side ; and was able to pilot the " Boston " into the wide 
mouth of the Delaware at the Capes. Thenceforth the 
way was clear, and at last their troubled voyage was 
over. 

Robin More was landed at Chester, and with many 
expressions of respect and gratitude, his comrades parted 
from him and were carried to Philadelphia where the 
governor and authorities took charge of them, until 
they could be regularly discharged. The greeting of 
" Mother Bell," as Robin fondly called her, was a hearty 
one, and in the loving welcome and comforts of the only 
home he ever knew, he soon regained much of his wonted 
vigor. 

He longed intensely to look once more into Grace 
Owen's face, to hear again her voice, to feel the thrill of 
her hand-clasp. He had never forgotten her. By day, 
at night, in perils of sickness, in dangers of the sea, in 
the face of death under the enemy's fire, in dense trop- 
ical forests, on the burning sandy beach, in the deadly 
assault — everywhere and always her sweet face had 
been before him. 



i84 QUAKER BEN 

Yet his sense of honor and duty was stronger even 
than his love. He felt that Grace was not for him. 
The obstacles to their union seemed insurmountable. 
Fate had barred him from what he held to be the chief 
prize of life. During his absence he had not heard of 
her. Whether living or dead he knew not. And he 
would not openly ask. He had deliberately determined 
to eliminate her from his life, as something beyond all 
possibility of attainment. He had made his fight alone, 
within himself, apart from all sympathies. A sore, hard 
fight it had been, and would be ; but — he could and he 
would overcome a passion which his reason showed him 
was vain and unmanly. Indeed, he had supposed that 
he had come good speed in that direction until his ar- 
rival at Chester, within so short a space of his beloved's 
person, revealed to him that the battle must be begun 
again. 

After a few days spent in strict seclusion in the rest 
and comfort of the Bell cottage, he planned a visit to 
West Chester, to the home of a young couple whose 
friendship he had formed during his school-days, and 
had ever since kept up. The wife was a devoted 
Friend. The husband, Henry Coates, though still a 
member of the Meeting, had somewhat lost standing with 
the leaders by favoring armed resistance of public and 
aggressive enemies. Yet he was not alone therein. 
Others, and so eminent a person as James Logan, the 
great Founder's secretary, felt " free " to profess that 
principle. Robin's part in the Vernon expedition there- 
fore had not broken or even marred the friendship be- 
tween the two men. So, strapping a roll of personal 
wear across the saddle, he mounted his horse and rode 
away over the beautiful intervening hills to his friend's 
farm. 

He was a welcome guest; and the quiet and hearty 
greetings over, Henry and Hannah Coates were deeply 
interested listeners to Robin's story of the adventures 
and misadventures, the struggles, and sufferings of 



HOME FROM THE WAR 165 

soldiers and sailors alike in the Cartagena expedition. 

" What a proof is all this," Hannah Coates exclaimed, 
"of the rightfulness of Friends in their testimony 
against the wickedness of war ! Thy tale of terrible ex- 
periences is a more convincing sermon than any I have 
heard/' 

" It is indeed cruel work ! " Robin admitted. " My 
own experience of actual war has been small ; but taken 
with the stories I have heard seasoned warriors tell, it 
brings me to think that Friends are more than half 
right. I am not sure but I could turn Quaker myself 
on that point," he added smiling. " Men talk of a per- 
dition!" he continued with earnestness. "If there be 
such a place outside of earth, or of men's imaginations, 
I am sure it could not be worse than the English and 
Colonial camps before the walls of Cartagena! " 

" One would think, friend More," Mrs. Hannah 
quietly remarked, " that thy experience of the possibilities 
of persistent human wickedness, and the penalties it in- 
evitably brings, would have prepared thee to admit the 
probability that such passions and their penalties may 
also persist in a future state of being. But let that pass ! 
What I would like to ask thee is : What good ground was 
there, in thy mind, for this war, to warrant such expendi- 
ture and waste of human life and energies? " 

Robin paused a moment before answering. It was a 
question that needed due pondering. "Are not the 
Spaniards our national enemies ? " at last he replied. 
" Have they not long been the foes of our countrymen 
and of our religion ? Have they not time and again tried 
to injure and destroy us? Did not our King demand 
our services, and should not loyal citizens — " 

"Yes, yes! I know all that! Let us grant it such 
force as thee claims. But what was there or is there in 
this particular quarrel, to demand, in righteousness, the 
cooperation of the English Colonies in America? Our 
King is trying to wrest from the King and people of 
Spain certain provinces which they, as the discoverers 



i86 QUAKER BEN 

and first occupants, have surely as good a right to as 
ourselves. Now, I can understand on Henry's princi- 
ples, which permit defensive war, how the Spaniards of 
Cartagena and other West Indian ports are justified in 
resisting thee and thy English and colonial comrades. 
But on what grounds can we justify our people for try- 
ing to seize the Spaniards' lands and possessions; for 
hurting and slaying them, and turning their country into 
what thee has called a perdition ? 

"Thee spoke of loyalty to our government. Well, 
truly, loyalty to one's country and home is a natural 
virtue. That I do not deny. I might learn that much 
from the ants whose great conical mounds are raised in 
the wood-lots on our hills, and who fling their lives 
away most freely in defense of their communes. But 
we are not now under natural law simply. We are under 
Him who came to set up a Spiritual Kingdom. He is 
our great and supreme Law-giver now. And He has 
said, * Blessed are the peacemakers ; for they shall be 
called the children of God ! ' Christ's law takes prece- 
dence — yes, henceforth and wholly — of the law of 
natural selfishness and human strife." 

" But that is an ideal rule for an ideal condition," said 
Robin. " It is impracticable, in such a world as this, to 
live up to it." 

" Did not William Penn make a practical success of 
government under such principles ? " Mrs. Hannah re- 
torted. 

" Yes, I admit that," Robin replied. " But had it been 
his hap to fall upon the seats of one of the fierce and 
warlike tribes, instead of those of the Delawares, dis- 
armed and cowed and disqualified from war by their 
conquerors, the Five Nations, Penn might not have fared 
so well with his holy experiment ! " 

" It may be. But I put an accomplished fact against 
your conjectural failure." 

" Please understand me, friend Plannah," said Robin. 
" I thoroughly agree in the general unwisdom and wrong 



HOME FROM THE WAR 187 

of war. I believe that mankind will not always submit 
to such folly and loss as it needlessly imposes. But I 
fear that day is far, far distant ! " 

" Yes ! May God forgive us ! " said Mrs. Coates. 
" I know well, as thee does also, that the quarrel be- 
tween the Kings of England and Spain is none of our 
making or choosing. We are as little concerned as 
considered therein. What interest had those poor col- 
onists of ours who were starved, maimed, slaughtered, 
and whose lives were burned out by fevers and exposure 
in torrid climates, in such quarrels? Oh! if the men 
who foment these quarrels could be made to fight them 
out themselves! I would it might be so! There would 
be few wars then, I ween! But see! It is the poor 
peasants, and handicraftsmen and farmers who must 
bear the burden of toil and taxes, of sufferings and death 
forced on them by others, and in which they have only 
disadvantage and loss. My conscience and my heart 
rise up against the cruelty, wickedness and folly of 
it all!" 

" There, there, Hannah ! " the husband interposed. 
" Thee must not wax too warm over this matter. Thee 
knows that excitement is not good for thee ; nor for thy 
little nursling. Let us drop the subject now. Doubt- 
less our friend Robin has had enough of war and war- 
tales for the present. We can find pleasanter things with 
which to entertain him, perhaps." 

And certainly, more interesting things, and many of 
them, there were to tell and talk of. The affairs of the 
city and colony for the last year and more were all news 
to Robin. One after another, and one suggesting an- 
other, they were told and talked over. Among these 
the most interesting was Dorothy Owen's call to minister 
to the Indians, and her father's joining therein. That 
had greatly stirred all the Friends' Meetings in the col- 
ony. Thus came in naturally the news of the Owen 
family. All were well as usual. 

And Grace? He dare not ask particularly for her; 



i88 QUAKER BEN 

though he might have done so, for his friends knew 
nothing of his feelings for her. Yet somehow tidings 
came of her, also. 

" She is not married, then ? " 

" Oh, no ! there are no rumors of that, or of any en- 
tanglements leading thereto. The Owen maids all seem 
to be heart-whole. Indeed, Grace is now helping her 
brother Paul in the Academy; for since his father has 
arranged to go, Paul must give much time to busi- 
ness, and will doubtless give up teaching, ere long/' 

" And how fares it with the young lady in her new 
duties?" 

" She gets on bravely. It is said that the boys are 
all in love with her. Her bright mind and charming 
ways and gentle tactfulness have quite won their bois- 
terous natures, so that even the rudest of them have be- 
come her chivalrous knights and helpers. They are 
ready to do anything for her — even master their les- 
sons! It is a new thing to have a woman teacher for 
such boys; but with Grace Owen it seems to be a suc- 
cess. The gossip goes that since her sister's dedication 
to the spiritual welfare of the native Indians, Grace has 
determined to give her life to the work of instructing 
youth. It is truly a noble mission; but no doubt so fair 
and talented a maiden will not escape the common lot of 
women, and will some day pass from spinsterhood, and 
join the great and worthy army of matrons." 



CHAPTER XXI 

A GREAT TRANSFORMATION 

That night when Robin retired, he found on the little 
table by his bed a copy of William Penn's " No Cross, 
No Crown." His admiration of the author as a states- 
man and philanthropist, the founder of a new and dis- 
tinct type of government, led him to open the volume 
and glance at its contents. The conversation of the 
afternoon and evening had greatly agitated him. Feel- 
ings he had sought to subdue had been revived. He 
was wakeful; and adjusting the candle, began to read. 

The book did not interest him at first, but soon a pas- 
sage fixed his attention. He reread it. He read on with 
quickened interest. The candle had burned low ere he 
ceased reading, and went to bed. The book had strangely 
affected him. He began to speculate upon how a man 
of Penn's practical wisdom in statecraft and worldly 
affairs, could be so taken up with a system so mystical, 
so sentimental, so unworldly or other-worldly ? Then he 
remembered that in his youth, ere he had achieved his 
mental freedom by philosophy, as he had foolishly put it, 
he had believed some such doctrines as Penn professed. 

Thus came back to him recollections of his motherless 
childhood. His mother! She had died when he was 
little more than an infant. That was all he knew of 
her. Could she have been such a woman as Hannah 
Coates? So he pictured her. Then he thought of 
Dorothy Owen, and the strong and beautiful even though 
deluded faith that led to such a sacrifice as she had made 
for a lot of worthless savages. He had talked about 
her in the Cartagena camps with Ben-Thee, who said 
he had tried to discourage her plan to devote her life 



I90 QUAKER BEN 

to the reclamation of the Indians, as perilous and im- 
practicable, and especially rash and certain of disastrous 
failure in one of her sex. " Poor woman ! " Robin 
inwardly exclaimed, "What a cross! And — but is it 
a delusion? Would there, perhaps, come to her some- 
time — somehow — somewhere, a crown ? " 

— "Aye, there's the rub! for in that sleep of death, 
what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this 
mortal coil, should give us pause ! " Robin was a lover 
of Shakespeare. That much, at least, his old Chester 
schoolmaster had taught him. 

From Dorothy Owen and the reflections associated 
with her, it was an easy transition to her sister Grace. 
There the old conflict began anew. And ever. Reason 
lay prostrate before Love in the wrestlings of the night. 
" You ought not to think of her ! It is vain ; it is 
folly ! " — urged Reason. " But I must ! I cannot help 
it ! " — cried Love. And the sweet passion prevailed in 
his thoughts over the sober judgment. He was com- 
pelled to grant that Reason is not supreme lord in the 
human mind. 

The moon shone in brightly at his window. He sat 
up in bed. He looked out upon the garden and beyond 
it to a field that sloped away across a winding brook 
to a wood-crowned ridge. As he gazed, he seemed to 
see a figure — a colossal figure of Grace Owen hang- 
ing above the woods in the full moonlight, waving a 
branch of royal palm, such as grows at Cartagena. The 
figure grew gradually dim — and dimmer. It receded 
into the horizon. The palm branch was slowly trans- 
formed into a bunch of forget-me-nots that he had 
plucked from the brookside before night- fall. See! it 
beckoned him with the flowers held in an upright hand, 
and disappeared out of sight — up — up — upward, 
blending with the moon-illumined sky. Robin fell back 
upon his bed; turned over on his side, a;id soon was 
asleep. 

He arose, dreaming that he heard a cannon boom 



A GREAT TRAl^SFORMATION igi 

from the walls of Cartagena. It was Henry Coates 
rapping at his door, and bidding him prepare for break- 
fast. How cool and fresh was the morning air ! How 
pure and fragrant the breath of the garden and lawn! 
How clean and dainty the breakfast table looked with 
its snowy cloth, and the scent of the fields floating in 
through the open door! And when Mrs. Hannah came 
in with her rosy-cheeked infant cooing in her arms 
and waving its chubby fists, it seemed a picture of heaven 
on earth to the lonely-hearted and love-lorn man. 
Would such a home ever be his ? Alas, such hopes must 
be quenched! They were empty as the visions of the 
night. His love had for him only a " cross," never a 
"crown!" 

Yet when he sat down to breakfast, which a country 
lass in a trim Quaker dress was serving, and the host 
and hostess bowed in the "silent pause" that in a 
Friend's household takes the place of an audible " bless- 
ing," Robin found himself unconsciously bowing also, 
not simply out of politeness, but with a new emotion, 
something like the old-time reverence, lifting his heart 
upward. 

Now domestic duties and farm labors called for his 
host's care, and Robin walked out in the fields to medi- 
tate. He turned his steps toward the wooded ridge be- 
yond which the figure of Grace had vanished in the 
vision of last night. He crossed the brook where he 
had plucked forget-me-nots, and stooped and gathered 
another handful. And then — something occurred ;^ 
something strange beyond all marvels he had ever per- 
sonally known or dreamed of; something that turned the 
course of his entire life. Whence could it have come? 
By what power of association? Could it have been the 
news of Dorothy Owen's divine call and her devotion 
thereto? Or, his casual reference to the perdition of 
the Cartagena camp, and Hannah Coates's gentle allusion 
to it? Could it have sprung from suggestions raised 
by reading William Penn's " No Cross, No Crown?" 



192 QUAKER BEN 

The author will not try to explain the event which 
he now relates. It is a mystery of our psychical be- 
ing, the like of which one has found along all the paths 
of human history, and still finds, not infrequently, in 
life around us. It is an inseparable part of us — of 
our complex character and life. Perhaps one may 
as well accept the theory that Robin More held to 
during all his after-life unwaveringly, and fall back 
upon the fact of a presence among men of a Spirit 
of Divine Power and Love. This is what Robin 
long afterward wrote of what occurred on that morn- 
ing: 

" As I was walking in the fields alone, my mind be- 
ing under no kind of religious concern, or in the least 
excited by Anything I had heard or had thought of, I 
was suddenly arrested by what seemed to be an awful 
voice proclaiming the words * Eternity ! Eternity ! 
Eternity ! ' It reached my very soul, — my whole inner 
man shook. It brought me, like Saul, to the ground. 
The great depravity and sinfulness of my heart were 
set before me, and the grief of everlasting destruction 
to which I was verging. I was made bitterly to cry 
out, 'If there is no God, doubtless there is a hell!' I 
found myself in the midst of it. Eor a long time it 
seemed as if the thundering proclamation was yet 
heard." 

When he returned to the house, his friends noticed 
his distraught manner. Had he been taken ill? Was 
it a return of the West Indies fever? 

No ! Something had happened ; something strange and 
dreadful. 

Would he tell them what? 

No — not now! He did not know himself. He 
could not explain. God had met him in the fields; God 
— the God whom he had rejected! He hurried to his 
chamber. He knelt down and remained long upon his 
knees. He arose and walked the floor in a tumult of 
spirit. 



A GREAT TRANSFORMATION 193 

Meanwhile Henry and Hannah Coates were speaking 
with subdued voices of their guest's case! 

" Is there nothing we can do for him? " asked Henry. 

" Let him alone ! " said Hannah, wiser in spiritual 
things. " The Spirit of God is wrestling within him. 
Let us fear lest we do the sin of Uzzah, and reach out 
our hands to stay the ark that God is bringing home. 
Let us be quiet, and be much in prayer, and bless 
our God for this manifestation of His power in our 
midst." 

They were not surprised when Robin came out of his 
room, and announced, very quietly, his purpose to return 
home at once. There was no remonstrance; no com- 
ment; no questioning. Henry went with him to the barn 
and helped to prepare the horse for the journey. Then 
as Robin was about to mount, Henry laid his hand upon 
his arm and in a kindly, gentle voice said: 

" Robin, my friend, is it not time for thee to give 
thyself to God?" 

That was all. Robin clasped his hand in silence. 
Then he said : ** Farewell ! And say farewell for me 
to your good wife. Surely, you have a treasure in her ! " 
He mounted and was gone. 

At Chester, Mother Bell remarked the change in ap- 
pearance and bearing — his reticence, his solemnity, the 
absence of that buoyant, light-hearted manner which 
made him a center of joyous life wherever he was. 
He went at once to his room. He took from its comer 
on his little library-shelves his unused Bible. It was not 
dust-covered, for Mrs. Bell's careful hand prevented 
that. But it was an unknown volume to him ; for though 
its reading and study had been part of his childhood's 
lessons, in his young manhood he had neglected it utterly. 

Now he opened it, seeking for light and leading. 
Perhaps his act was prompted by motives in which super- 
stition had some part. He turned to the Book as some 
might turn to a fetish, an incantation, a charm. Would 
it not somehow, by reason of a superhuman sanctity 



194 QUAKER BEN 

within it, soothe this great disturbance that had befallen 
him? He read on and on — many chapters. He was 
disappointed. His tumult of spirit remained. Light he 
indeed had received, and instruction. The high and holy 
thoughts, in their strong, pure phrasing, fresh from the 
" fount of English undefiled," fell like music upon his 
soul. 

Mrs. Bell called him to his supper. He ate sparingly, 
almost in silence, and hurried back to his chamber. He 
took from his shelves another book, that long had 
stood beside his Bible, equally unused. It was an old 
English imprint of the Confession of Faith of the West- 
minster Divines, a gift from his father whose inherited 
orthodoxy was the chief element in his religion. 

"This was the work of pious men," Robin thought; 
" perhaps it may have some help for me." 

He opened at the very first chapter, and at the page 
whereon the character of the Holy Scripture is defined 
in language of remarkable beauty, force and clarity. 
" We may be moved and induced by the testimony of 
the Church to a high and reverend esteem for the Holy 
Scripture; and the heavenliness of the matter, the ef- 
ficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the 
consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which 
is to give all glory to God) ; the full discovery it makes 
of the only way of man's salvation, the many other in- 
comparable excellencies, and the entire perfection there- 
of — are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence 
itself to be the word of God. Yet, notwithstanding, our 
full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and 
divine authority thereof is from the inward work of the 
Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word, in 
our hearts/^ 

"*The inward work of the Holy Spirit?'" Robin 
repeated. " Surely this is what I need ! Oh, for that 
witness in my heart ! " 

He fell upon his knees. He poured out his soul to 
his Maker for the gift of the witnessing Spirit upon the 



A GREAT TRANSFORMATION 195 

written word. Then he opened the Bible and read. He 
walked his room, alternately reading and praying and 
walking the floor, until midnight was near. Yet, he had 
not given himself to God. The parting words of Henry 
Coates had come to him many times. They would not 
leave him. " Is it not time to give thyself to God ? " He 
had not done that. He could not do it. Nay, he would 
not ! That was the truth that he faced at last ; he would 
not come to Christ that he might have life! He had 
other plans for his future, and a profession of Chris- 
tianity would destroy them. He could not; he would 
not! 

What! he, Robin More, become a Presbyterian like 
Mother Bell, or a parson like George Whitefield the 
Evangelist, or a Quaker like Father Owen or Henry 
Coates? No! He could not, he would not yield! 
Then came a voice so distinct and loud that it seemed 
to come from without not from within him, and he 
turned involuntarily to see if someone had not spoken. 

'' Give thyself to Godf^' it said. 

He sank upon his knees and cried : " Lord, I sur- 
render! I give myself to Thee! Have Thy will with 
me ! I will do aught for Thee, be aught for Thee, that 
Thou dost require! I will break stones upon the high- 
way like the convict gang, if thereto Thou dost bid me ! 
Lord, I am Thine! Accept me, for my Redeemer's 
sake!" 

The struggle was oven In that self-abnegation and 
surrender he found peace. He sat down at his writing- 
table, and deliberately wrote out a series of resolutions 
to bind his contract of surrender. He spread them be- 
fore him, and on his knees sought grace of Heaven to 
keep him steadfast and true. The clock on his mantel- 
piece struck twelve. A new day had begun. A new life 
had been born. The great transformation of the Divine 
Spirit had been wrought within him ! Then he lay down 
and slept ; and when he awoke the day had fully broken. 

When he came down to breakfast Mrs. Bell saw by 



196 QUAKER BEN 

his radiant countenance that the change had come. She ' 

knew, — for she, too, had been spiritually born — the con- ' 

flict he had passed through. ' 

"O my child; my own dear boy!" she cried; and ' 

took him to her arms as often she had done when he I 

was a lad. " Thank God ; thank God ! At last you have ! 

come home to your Heavenly Father ? " Robin laid her 
head, now gray with growing years, upon his breast, and 
she wept silently there for joy and gratitude, while his 
own eyes were filled with tears. 



CHAPTER XXII 

ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 

The great question in the spiritual career of Robin 
More had been decided. But there immediately faced 
him another which mightily perplexed him. He saw it 
to be his duty to embrace the Christian religion publicly, 
and to enter upon a life of active obedience to the laws 
of Jesus Christ. But in which one of the several de- 
nominations of the Church should he unite his wor- 
ship and his work? The question at last narrowed it- 
self to two. The heriditary prejudices of his father, 
should he incline to express preference for any, he felt 
sure would strongly favor some branch of the Church 
of Scotland. That Mother Naomi Bell was a devout 
Presbyterian also had great weight with him. Another 
person whose judgment he highly valued was attached to 
the same Communion — his old Scotch-Irish school- 
master, Hugh Andrews. 

Feeling the need of wise counsel, he resolved upon a 
visit to Mr. Andrews. He found the aged pedagogue 
in his little school-room at the noon hour. He was 
seated at a rude table just before the high desk which 
served as a sort of public throne from which the general 
exercises and lessons were conducted. Around three 
sides of the room were ranged against the wall a con- 
tinuous bench, which was fronted by a continuous slop- 
ing desk, whose continuous hollow interior was used as 
a repository for the books, lunch bags and other para- 
phernalia of the students. Immediately in front of this 
continuous wall-desk were arranged high backed benches 
on which sat the little folk who were learning the rudi- 
ments of education. Here in this primitive academy 



ipS QUAKER BEN 

had Robin got such schooling as he had acquired, pass- 
ing up gradually from the front seats, as an A-B-C 
scholar, to the higher forms. And here Master Andrews 
was engaged in his usual noon-work of ruling copy books 
and setting copies. 

He sat at his table with a round ruler in one hand, 
and a pencil in the other, and a goose-quill pen thrust be- 
hind one ear. His scanty gray hairs were combed up 
from each side of his cheeks into a point above his fore- 
head. His thin smooth face in repose had a rather stern 
expression ; but in the crow's-feet drawn around the cor- 
ners of his large blue-gray eyes, there lurked a twinkle 
that was often stirred up, and easily widened out into 
a broad smile. At such times his face was a remarkably 
fine one, and must once have been handsome. 

Robin stood quietly at the open door for a few mo- 
ments, and watched the old gentleman as he rolled his 
round ruler down the white page before him, scoring with 
his pencil, as it rolled, the lines upon which the tyro in. 
writing was to repeat the copy which the master was 
to " set " upon the top line. He had acquired such skill 
in this exercise that although the ruler traversed the page 
as rapidly as the penciling hand could move, it was im- 
possible to detect a variation from the straightness of the 
alignment. This feat had always had a strange fas- 
cination to Robin, even when he was head-boy, and was 
one of the marvels of his school-days. It was interest- 
ing now, and aroused old and pleasant associations. 

The Master laid his rule and pencil aside, dislodged his 
quill from its rack back of his ear, and dipping it into 
his ink-pot, began to write a copy. Then Robin entered 
the door, near which Mr. Andrews sat, and spoke. At 
once the master was upon his feet. The stern face re- 
laxed into a bright smile, and a welcome grasp was 
given and received with a heartiness such as often passes 
between old teachers and former pupils. Robin was not 
long in entering upon his errand, for the school-hour 
was near at hand; and although the Master was not a 



ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 199 

demonstrative man, there was a warm expression of sym- 
pathy with his former pupil in the change that had come 
to him. 

" Well, my lad," when Robin's case had been stated, 
" I was just writing one of my old copies — one in D, 
which you will doubtless remember. I can think of no 
advice to give you better than this: 

Dare to do your duty and — 
The copy you see is unfinished " — Mr. Andrews 
pointed to the sentence that partly filled the line, written 
in a large fair text. " But I dare say you will recall 
it." 

" Yes indeed," was the answer. " I remember most of 
your copy texts. They have many a time probed my 
conscience, and strengthened a righteous purpose, or 
shunted me from an evil one. And none has been a 
better friend to me than this one : * Dare to do your 
duty, and leave results to God.' I think I am quite will- 
ing to do my duty now. But the difficulty is to know just 
what my duty may be. And I have come to you to get 
some light upon it, if I can." 

"Well, Robin, I might send you off to the parson, 
perhaps," said Mr. Andrews, "and no doubt he might 
help you. But our clergymen are naturally apt to be 
a little prejudiced in favor of their own Communions ; as 
indeed I confess that I am myself. Your experience has 
thus far been wholly without ministerial influence, and 
perhaps it might be as well to let it so continue, for 
the present. There is a deal of religious excitement in 
our colony, wrought up by the preachings of the Rev. 
George Whitefield, and Mr. Gilbert Tennent and others. 
I would counsel you to steer clear of them just now. 
They have done and are doing a good work for many. 
But I think for the present you will be the better for 
listening to the ' still small voice/ Sober reflection, quiet 
meditation, reading and study of the Bible, and prayer 
for the Spirit's guidance, will be pretty sure to bring you 
to the right decision. I like the spiritual liberty, the 



200 QUAKER BEN 

intelligence, the steadfast devotion to principle, and the 
order of my own Church. It is the Church of your 
father, the Church of your baptism; and perhaps you 
could do no better than to make it the Church of your 
active profession. But if you have leadings elsewhere, 
do not decide until you are thoroughly satisfied, and then 
abide by your decision. The field for Christian duty 
and service is so wide and pressing in every denomina- 
tion of the Church in these Colonies, that you will find 
enough to do in whatever one you may choose. But 
there, I hear the scholars' voices approaching, and we 
must separate now. May God the Spirit guide you, my 
dear boy ! Farewell.*' 

The youthful faces that trooped brightly into the 
schoolroom as Robin passed out, and who greeted the 
Master with the wonted obeisance, noted upon his coun- 
tenance an expression of unusual placidity. The quiet 
smile that beamed thereon as his visitor left, did not 
fade away, but lingered throughout the short remainder 
of the afternoon. There was a gentleness and patience in 
his manner toward even the most perverse pupils that 
all the scholars marked. Matters must have gone on 
pleasantly at the Master's home? Or had that hand- 
some officer brought him good news of his son from 
the war? 

Neither of these, young hearts! The good man 
simply was happy in the prospect that another of his j 

" boys " had chosen the better part, and gave promise | 

of success in life. And had not Robin More been one I 

of his most trying scholars in his day? I 

Even the Chester school-boys knew something of the 
domestic trials of Master Andrews' life. He had but 
one son, and he, contrary to his parents' wishes, had 
gone oflF to the Spanish West Indies with the Pennsyl- 
vania recruits. His mother's grief thereat had been so 
great — for her life was wrapped up in him — that it 
acted unfavorably upon a temper already sufficiently ir- 
ritable, and had quite unbalanced her mind. [ 

I 



ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 201 

" Pure ill-temper and nothing else ! " said old-fashioned 
Doctor Laird. " She has never tried to control herself; 
and in the face of an unusual provocation and disap- 
pointment has shipped the rudder altogether." 

" 'Deed an* she hadna far to gae," was the comment 
of her next-door neighbor. " A vixen she has lived, an' 
a vixen will she die, barrin' the speecial marcies o' the 
Lord. She was daft on the matter o' haein' her own 
wull; an' could never bide bein' crossed in the laste bit. 
An' that's a specie' o' insanity, I ventur ? " 

Most folk agreed with Mistress Rankin and the old- 
fashioned doctor. But not Master Andrews. " She has 
been a good and economical housekeeper, a loyal wife, 
and a faithful and fond mother. If betimes her tongue 
has been a little sharp — she has doubtless had sore prov- 
ocation, poor soul ! " 

The Master's friend, the Presbyterian parson, shook his 
head gravely, when the matter was mentioned in his pres- 
ence. " Poor Andrews ! " he said with a sigh : " I fear 
me he knows too well the Psalmist's bitter experience. 
* What shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue ? 
Sharp arrows of the mighty with coals of juniper. Woe 
is me that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell in the tents 
of Kedar ! ' " It was a genuine sympathy, doubtless, for 
it was shrewdly suspected that the parson himself was not 
without experience, though of a milder sort, of what it 
means to " dwell in the tents of Kedar! " 

After the tempest of anger and grief that followed the 
departure of young Andrews for Cartagena, matters 
came to a crisis at the Master's house. Mrs. Andrews 
came back from the transport to her home overwhelmed 
with rage, disappointment and sorrow. All her vials of 
wrath she poured out upon her husband, whose sorrow 
was as keen as and even deeper than her own. In the 
pitch of her excitement she resolved to leave the Master, 
with whom her heated imagination had somehow as- 
sociated her son's departure, though indeed it was quite 
the reverse of that. 



202 QUAKER BEN 

She announced her purpose, and straightway began 
making what she termed an equal division of the house- 
hold goods. Mr. Andrews well knew by long experience 
that remonstrance would be vain and opposition worse. 
He therefore went off to school, whose sanctity for some 
occult reason his wife never obtruded upon, and left her 
to the devices of her own heart. When he returned at 
noon the work was done. The goods were divided into 
two parts in every room, and with an equity that was 
striking, though in some features amusing. The dame 
had already been out and rented a couple of vacant rooms, 
and a carter was at the door to transport her share of 
the goods. She was an energetic body, and usually lost 
no time in carrying out her plans. 

" There ! " she exclaimed as the Master entered. " I've 
divided everything fairly, share and share alike. You 
can't say that I have taken a thing more than my honest 
half. There's nothing left but this big Bible. I think 
I ought to have that. How can one start housekeeping 
without a Bible? A Bible and salt must always go in 
first. Besides, you've got your Greek an' Latin Bibles 
that you're aye palaverin' about, and will need this the 
less." 

Now it so happened that this particular book was one 
especially prized by Mr. Andrews. It had been a present 
from a number of his favorite pupils, among whom was 
Robin More. He therefore urged a gentle remonstrance ; 
and appealing to the sense of justice which she had so 
rigidly adhered to, ventured to suggest that this book 
was in an especial sense his property. 

That set the match to Madam's passions. "You 
arrant heathen ! " she cried. " Would you send your wife 
out of the house without the Word of God to bring her 
a blessing? An' you an elder in the Church? Fie upon 
you!" 

She snatched the Bible from the little stand where it 
was wont to rest, seized a large bread-knife from a table, 
and ere the Master could grasp her purpose, or even raise 



ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 203 

a cry of remonstrance, she had severed the book in twain 
along the back. 

" There! " she shouted, flinging down one of the halves 
before him. " There is your half of the Bible, and 
much good may it do you! I've dealt generously wi* 
ye, too ; for I've gi'en ye what they say is the better half 
— the New Testament. An' I've keepit the Auld Testa- 
ment for myself, for I aye liked best the bonnie Psalms ! " 

The Master was horrified at this act. Never before 
had his forbearance been so strained. But he recovered 
his patience, and without a word of anger or remonstrance 
watched the dame go forth of the house in most stately 
wise, with an air of injured innocence mingled with 
triumph, hugging under one arm her own half-Bible and 
carrying in the other hand a vessel of salt. The carter 
came in for her belongings, and the flitting was duly 
finished. Thenceforth for a while there were two An- 
drews' households in Chester, the Master's and the 
Dame's. And the good man saw to it secretly that what- 
ever might be lacking in his own home, his wife's quarters 
lacked for nothing. 

As Robin More walked up the street from the school- 
house, he stopped suddenly. He smote himself smartly. 
"There!" he muttered. "What a selfish, thoughtless 
man I have been! I meant to tell my old Master the 
news that I have from his son John. But in my self- 
absorption in my own case, I forgot it until this moment. 
I am ashamed of myself ! " He wheeled sharply around, 
and walked back to the school. It was almost unheard 
of to interrupt a lesson-hour, but Robin ventured to do 
so. 

" My dear Master," he began, " I crave your pardon ! 
I had intended to give you some news of your son. But 
I was so selfishly absorbed in my own aflfairs that I let 
it pass until too late." 

The old man's face flushed with anticipation. " No 
news is good news, it is said. I confess when I first 
saw you, I feared you might have bad tidings. But when 



204 QUAKER BEN 

you said nothing of the lad, I knew that you had noth- 
ing of that sort, at least, to tell." 

" Thank God, no ! On the contrary when I left, John 
was in good health; as good at least as anyone can be 
in the camp before Cartagena. I had not seen him for 
some weeks before leaving, but I heard from him through 
Captain Owen. The camp was ringing with a gallant ex- 
ploit he had performed in an assault upon the walls. 
He rushed through a storm of bullets and grape-shot, 
and brought back in his arms — you know how strong 
he is — the wounded major of his regiment, a kinsman 
of Lord James Cavendish, our General. The men 
cheered him wildly as he came safely in, and the Colonel 
promoted him to be Color-Sergeant on the spot. Oh, it 
was a gallant act and a great honor for our Chester boys, 
and we were proud indeed of the son of our old Master." 

All the lads in the school had dropped their books and 
sat with rapt faces, eager eyes and open mouths, taking 
in Robin's story, which he purposely had told loudly 
enough for them to hear. The Master stood, with pride 
and love playing across his countenance and the tears 
streaming down his withered cheeks. 

" Three cheers for Color-Sergeant John Knox An- 
drews I " called the head-boy, rising upon his bench. 
Every lad was on his feet in a trice, and never in the 
history of the Chester Academy did the old building ring 
and ring again as on that day. 

"I think — dear boys!" the Master began with un- 
steady voice and broken speech — " There, there ! thank 
you, thank you all! That is — quite enough! I think 

— with your consent, of course! — I might venture to 

— to give you a half -holiday." 

" Hurrah, hurrah ! Three cheers for the Master ! " 
called the head-boy. They were g^ven with rare good- 
will. " And now three for Lieutenant More ! " In 
which, really, the school-master departed from his usual 
dignity and also joined. 

Then off trooped the lads with a rush — though not 



ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 205 

forgetting their " manners to the Master " as they left 
— and out of the room with a whoop, whence they 
dispersed through the town, to scatter the news. 

Robin remained to tell Mr. Andrews such details of 
his son's deeds and welfare as he could recall, and the 
afternoon had well advanced ere the father's heart was 
satisfied. 

"May I ask of you a favor — a great favor?" he 
said, as at last Robin turned away. " Would — you 
mind. — going up to where my wife lives, and telling 
her this news ? It will be better than food and medicine 
to the poor mother's hungry heart." 

Off went Robin upon his errand of friendship and 
kindness. The Master stayed behind to shut the win- 
dows and put the room to rights, and then closing the 
door, he kneeled down by his writing-table, to pour 
out his heart in gratitude to God, and to pray, as he had 
never ceased to do, for his beloved son amid the perils 
of camp and siege. And ere he rose, he commended to 
a Heavenly Father's care — as he had done every day 
for many years — the boys of his school. Then he locked 
the door, and walked with a lighter step and surely with 
a lighter heart, to his lonely home. The good news had 
already sped, and many times he was stopped on the way 
and greeted with warm congratulations by neighbors and 
townsmen. 

So on he moved to his house-gate. " Ah ! who is this 
flying down the street, with streaming hair, and dress 
fluttering with the swiftness of the gait? Can it be? 
Yes! it is — his wife!" She flew through the gate — 
into the yard — and flung herself, with the old impulsive 
mode, upon his bosom as he stood by the door-step. 

" O Hugh, my husband ! I have heard the news you 
sent me by Robin More. I have come back to you ! Will 
you receive me? For our boy's sake — will you for- 
give? I beg you on my knees!" And she sank upon 
the paving-stones and clasped his feet. 

"Aye, Jenny, my lass! Heartily and fully!" He 



2o6 QUAKER BEN 

stooped and lifted her up, put back her gray, disordered 
locks, and kissed her wrinkled brow, on which his hot 
tears of joy were falling. Then he opened the door and 
led her in. And that night ere he laid down to sleep, 
he read again — as often he had read — out of his muti- 
lated Bible the story of that one in the Lord's parable 
who had been lost, but was found. 

The next morning Robin, with his great question still 
unsolved, mounted his horse and rode over to his friends 
the Coates's at West Chester. There the light had first 
broken in upon him on that morning when his spiritual 
life had been born. Here it might be, he would find 
the open door to his spiritual activities. Henry and 
Hannah Coates received him with a joy which was not 
the less sincere and deep because of its quietness. He 
could tell them now. the whole strange story of his con- 
version. And no tale could have been heard by them 
with keener interest, though . thrilling with deeds of 
chivalry by knights of renown, and alive with the loves 
of fair ladies of high rank. 

Nor did it seem so very marvelous to these devout 
Friends. Had not their Society been established upon 
such experiences ? Had not the Founder of their colony 
and his " Holy Experiment " therein, come to them 
through personal experience not unlike? Nay, had not 
the Church of Jesus and the Apostles of Christianity been 
cradled amid such scenes? Why then should visitations 
of the Holy Spirit for the personal call of souls be 
thought a wonderful thing? The wonder was that their 
unbelief should cause it to be so rare. God forgive them ! 
They would rejoice in this glimpse of the "dayspring 
from on high" that had come to their friend in their 
own home, and would trust the gracious Spirit for yet 
more. 

In so devout, peaceful and sympathetic an atmosphere, 
Robin could not but feel at rest. The fact that these 
friends were of his own age brought them more closely 
together. The day following his arrival, the Coates's had 



ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 207 

been invited to dine at a neighboring farm, and Robin 
went with them. The host was a retired English army 
officer, and the special guests were two English women 
Friends who were on a religious visit to Pennsylvania. 
The family was one of culture and refined manners ; the 
conversation was elevated and spiritual. After dinner 
there was what Friends called " a religious opportunity," 
and several communications were made, chiefly by the 
visiting women ministers. One of these particularly im- 
pressed Robin More ; and as the incidents of this and the 
succeeding day had a great and permanent influence upon 
the character whose development we are here seeking to 
present, it may be well to quote from his own narrative : 

" As Friend Deborah addressed me, it seemed as if 
the Lord opened my outward ear and my heart. Her 
words partook of the efficacy of that * Word ' which is 
* quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged 
sword.' She seemed like one reading the pages of my 
heart, with clearness describing how it had been, and 
how it was with me. I was like Lydia; my heart was 
opened. I felt the power of Him who hath the key of 
David. No strength to withstand the Divine visitation 
was left in me. Oh, what sweetness did I there feel! 
It was indeed a memorable day. I was like unto one 
introduced into a new world. The Creation and all 
things around me bore a different aspect. My heart 
glowed with love to all. The awfulness of that day of 
Grod's visitation can never cease to be remembered with 
peculiar interest and gratitude, as long as I have the use 
of my mental faculties." 

The next day Divine worship was appointed to be 
held at the Friend's Meeting-House, and the two Eng- 
lish women Friends were invited, it being hoped that 
they might be moved to speak. Robin attended, and it 
was a pleasant sight to see the well-kept horses drawing 
snug wagons filled with comely and thrifty Quakers, 
threading the country roads toward the plain but trig 
looking sanctuary. The sheds built at one side of the 



2oS QUAKER BEN 

Meeting-House grounds, were soon filled with the teams, 
and after the little flutter of dismounting from the chairs 
on which the women had ridden, and of the friendly 
greetings interchanged, the worshipers entered the house. 
The deep Sabbath stillness that pervaded the outer world, 
seemed intensified by the silence within. There is always 
something profoundly impressive in the silences of as- 
sembled human beings. On the upper gallery sat the 
two English Friends. 

" The sight of them " — continuing Robin's narrative 
— " brought solemn feelings over me. But I soon forgot 
all things around me. For in an inward silent frame of 
mind, seeking for the Divine Presence, I was favored to 
find in me what I had so long sought for without me. 
I felt the Lord's power in such a manner that my inner 
man was prostrated before my blessed Redeemer. A se- 
cret joy filled me in that I had found Him after whom 
my soul had longed. I was as one nailed to my seat. 
I was so gathered in the temple of my heart before God, 
that I was wholly absorbed with what was passing there. 
Thus had the Lord opened my heart to seek Him where 
He may be found." 

It was a strange experience. It is a remarkable 
record. It is hard for one of practical habits and or- 
ganization, controlled by the ordinary views of men, and 
the impulses common to the average human being, to un- 
derstand such a state of mind; and especially to see how 
it can subsist side by side with the most intense practical 
activity in affairs, without in the least disturbing the 
balance or diminishing the degree thereof. But as a 
study in psychology •and the spiritual life of our kind, 
it commands earnest consideration. 

In this estate of quiet religious ecstasy Robin More 
passed out of the meeting, sat in the Coates' farm-wagon, 
and drove through the beautiful rural scenes to his 
friends' home. The deep Sabbath stillness, the soft sun- 
illumined air, the whole repose of the landscape and the 
glory and beauty that lay over and upon it, were in de- 



ROBIN MORE COMES TO A DECISION 209 

light ful harmony with his spirit. The question that had 
troubled him was settled — settled, as he firmly believed, 
by inward guidance of the Spirit of God. He would — 
he must be a Friend! The consequences to himself of 
this decision; the revolution to be wrought thereby in 
his life, he clearly foresaw. But by the help of God, 
he would face all, and meet all with a firm will and an 
unfaltering faith. 



CHAPTER XXIII 
Dorothy's mission camp upon the susquehanna 

The time came when Dorothy felt that she must leave 
Harris's, and push into the heart of the Indian settle- 
ments. She had not been unmindful of her mission, nor 
idle therein, no, not for a day! Small groups of braves 
with their peltry for sale, and sometimes accompanied 
by their squaws and children, would drop into Harris's 
for barter. That trader's storehouses were filling with 
the furry products of the chase. These the Indians had 
exchanged for knives, hatchets, blankets, powder and 
lead, kettles, hoes, paint, cloths and guns, articles which 
had become necessities to them since the white men had 
taught them their uses. These hunters and shoppers, 
and stragglers adrift after their roving fashion, were 
sure to find their way to the " white wigwam " of 
Dorothy, within or before which, or under a massy oak 
beside the tent, she had many conferences. But such 
audiences Dorothy and her father felt to be too transient 
for any permanent good effect. They must away there- 
fore to the real Indian settlements! 

Higher up the Susquehanna were the new villages of 
the Delawares, into which they had been forced by their 
remorseless conquerors and masters, the Five Nations, 
under the unprincipled policy of Thomas Penn, Thither 
Dorothy turned her face, having for a guide and inter- 
preter a Mohican named Two-tongues, whom Mrs. Har- 
ris had recommended as sober, friendly, trustworthy and 
an ally of the Delawares. 

" But do not forget, my young lady," she added, " that 
you cannot cease your vigilance for a moment with 
even the best of these people. I heard you, the other 



DOROTHrS MISSION CAMP 211 

day, teaching them the Holy Scripture that bids us 
' watch and pray/ They will watch — be sure of that — 
though I will not guarantee the other. However, see to 
it that your father and his helpers do not forget to watch, 
also! As you value your life, and what is more, your 
honor, insist on all your party watching, whether they 
pray or no. I have heard ihany good and holy words 
from you, my dear lady, for which I am thankful, for 
they are scarce enough on the frontier; and I will not 
forget to put up a bit prayer for you betimes. For I 
was brought up in the Church of England, and know 
my religious duty even if I do not do it. But my parting 
advice is, * Watch and pray ' — especially watch ! " 

" I thank thee heartily," was Dorothy's reply, " for 
thy loving thought and prayer for me. But I assure 
thee. Aunt Esther, I have no anxiety for my life. I 
am trusting Him of whom it is said : * He will not suffer 
thy foot to be moved. He that keepeth thee will not 
slumber.' Farewell ! " 

The journey through the dense forest along the Sus- 
quehanna was one of great natural beauty, though not 
easy to bring a two-horse wagon through. But at last 
the stopping-place was reached, a large village of the 
Dela wares. Clusters of smaller villages were seated at 
various distances, and from points high up the river 
where Nanticokes, Conoys and Mohicans were settled, 
detached groups of those tribes were intermingled with 
the Delawares. Thus the Indian town, Shamokin, as it 
was called, and which gave title to the modem city of 
that name, was a good center from which to propagate 
the religious views that Dorothy and Father Owen had 
come to teach. 

The town was new. The inhabitants were poor, hav- 
ing so lately been forced from their former seats. There 
was some little show of regularity in the arrangement 
of streets, though many conical bark wigwams and rude 
imitations of white men's log cabins were planted at 
random in spots convenient to the stream. Lank, half- 



212 QUAKER BEN 

bred horses grazed at will upon the lush meadows 
hardby. Children and girls sported and bathed in the 
river, splashing and swimming and diving amid shouts of 
laughter. 

Packs of dogs yelped and gamboled among the chil- 
dren and youth; or slept and dreamed of hunting ad- 
ventures by the wigwam fires. Boys and youth were 
at their mimic games of archery, wrestling, running and 
ball. Their seniors, the braves, looked on lazily, or 
sauntered or lounged idly in the sun, or smoked their 
pipes in haughty silence. The squaws wrought in the 
fields of corn, or toted water from the river, and wood 
from the forest, or bent over steaming kettles of veni- 
son and hominy, fish and succotash. Wrinkled grandams 
gossiped at the doors of the lodges, or watched the 
papooses swinging to the boughs of low shrubbery. 

Toward the center of the town was a big building 
which showed conspicuous among the smaller huts of 
bark or skins or wood. It was the Council House or 
public hall. Here were held public conferences and 
town-meetings, festivals and dances, and here also visit- 
ors to the tribe were received and entertained. And here 
Dorothy and Father Owen were brought, word of their 
coming having been carried by Two-tongues, their in- 
terpreter, in advance of their arrival. 

A deputation of chiefs and elders conducted them to 
the Council House where bear skins were spread near 
the center of the building, and they were invited to be 
seated. Dorothy asked through the interpreter, to be 
excused from the usual formalities, as far as might be 
permitted; and begged leave at once to state her 
errand. Before this request had been answered, and 
while the Head Chief seemed to be pondering it, Father 
Owen arose, and removed his broad-brimmed Quaker hat. 
His tall and erect form, his flowing hair spotlessly 
white, his dress and hat so different from those usually 
worn by white men, attracted gwieral attention. After 
a silent pause he thus spoke : 



DOROTHY'S MISSION CAMP 213 

"Brothers and Brother Chief: We come from the 
great city of Brotherly Love, and as Messengers from 
the Society of Friends, sometimes called Quakers, of 
which thine honored friend, William Penn, was a member 
and elder. This is our commission from them, which 
I beg thee to have read. It will tell thee for what pur- 
pose and by what authority we are here." Thereupon 
he took a roll of parchment from his bosom and handed 
it to the Head Man, who received it with that show of 
veneration which the earlier Indians were apt to give to 
written documents. 

" Brothers," he continued, " the Great Spirit has seen 
fit to move upon the mind and heart of my beloved child, 
Dorothy Owen, bidding her give her life to the spiritual 
teaching and uplifting of His red children who so long 
lived near us and among us, and with whose wrongs we 
deeply sympathize, though unable to set right. The 
same Great Spirit, the Master of Life, the Good Father 
of us all, has spoken to my inner man, bidding me go with 
his young Messenger, my daughter, to share with her the 
labor and the responsibility. Therefore I am come. We 
wish to dwell with thee for a little while, to make known 
our message to all the people. We will bide wholly at 
our own charges. We have nought to sell, for we do 
not come as traders, and shall wish only to buy of thy 
people such food as we may need. I have brought as a 
small token of our friendly feeling, and in accordance 
with thine own custom, a bale of useful goods, which 
I beg thee to receive and to distribute according to thy 
judgment of what is fitting." 

Thereat Joel and Andy came forward bearing a large 
package which they laid down at the Chieftain's feet and 
took their stand behind Father Owen. A general gut- 
tural murmur of approbation welcomed this act, but the 
keen curiosity to know its contents, was quite concealed. 

The Head Chief replied: "Brothers: we have heard 
the words of Snowy-hair with open ears. We receive 
them as coming from a sage who has the wisdom of 



214 QUAKER BEN 

many years. This message which he brings us from 
the true Brothers of Onas we will consider with the care 
that is due to such great friends of the Indians, and 
answer as is fitting. For this gift, which promises to 
be worthy of those who bring the greetings of the friends 
of Onas, we give the acknowledgment and thanks of 
all our tribe. It is not our custom for women to speak 
in the Council of our nation. But the Great Spirit has 
appointed different laws for different people, and we 
know that the people of Onas have a different law from 
the Lenni Lenape; and as the daughter of Snowy-hair 
shares with him equally the message, it is now permitted 
her to speak." 

Dorothy rose, and laying aside the Quaker bonnet 
which had concealed her face, stood uncovered before the 
Chiefs and tribesmen that filled the Council House to the 
doors. A flush of embarrassment mounted to her cheeks. 
She clasped her hands in front of her body, and bowed 
forward for a moment in silent prayer, during which not 
a sound was heard throughout the crowded hall. Every 
eye was intently fixed upon her; all ears were strained 
to hear the pending speech. Then in ^ voice low and 
sweet, but so full and penetrating that it was heard by 
all present, she began her address : 

" Fathers and brethren : The Great Spirit, who is the 
Master of Life to all men, has spoken to me words that 
I dare not disobey. He bade me go to His Indian 
children with His message of salvation, which has been 
brought to all men by His Son, Jesus the Christ. I am 
come to you in His Name and for His sake with this 
message. The Great Spirit loves all His children with 
equal love. He would have them all come unto Him 
that they may have Life Eternal. He will not turn from 
any who come to Him with believing spirits, leaving 
their evil ways. 

" People have fallen into the habit of thinking and 
speaking of Christianity as the * white man's religion.' 
No! It is all men's religion. It was appointed and is 



X 

"N 



DOROTHY'S MISSION CAMP 215 

fitted for the whole human race. When it was brought 
from Heaven to earth, its Divine Founder spake God's 
will when he said to His disciples : * Go ye into all the 
world and preach the Gospel to every creature ! ' This 
is His command, and it rests as a bounden duty on every 
son of man whether red or white or black. This is why 
we are here. The Great Spirit has put into our hearts 
love for the Indians as God's children. 

" The Master of Life taught His disciples much more 
than the wisdom which brings men a good, happy and 
peaceful life here on earth. He taught them that this 
life is only the first stage of another and endless life. 
This life is the seed, the next life is the full, ripe ear of 
corn. This life is the root; the next life is the great 
tree. This life is the bud, the next life is the flower. 
This life is as the infant, the next is as the full grown 
man or woman. 

" Death seems to end all ; but it does not ; it begins 
all rather! Said the Master: *In my Father's House 
are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.' 
That Father's House is the beautiful world into which 
the holy and good shall go. We call it Heaven. Thy 
sages, honored friend, knew something of the life beyond 
earth, and spoke of it as * the happy hunting grounds.' 
It is indeed a Happy Land, beautiful and blessed beyond 
the brightest dream. 

" The lot of some men and of most women is — tribu- 
lation, trouble, sorrow, loss, poverty, want. Some seem 
to have more than others ; far more, they sometimes think, 
than their share. But these differences in our lives are 
all made equal, and all forgotten in the life hereafter. 
We must remember this, lest we think evil thoughts 
against the Good Spirit who has permitted to us so much 
pain and hardship here. Let us bear our lots with pa- 
tience and good cheer, knowing that rest will come soon 
and will never again be broken. Then shall we find out 
the full measure of truth in the holy apostle's words: 
* These light afflictions, which are but for a moment. 



/ 



/ 2l6 QUAKER BEN 

shall work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory/ 

" And even here and now we may all find that a true 
Christian piety shall make smoother and sweeter for us 
the roughest earthly way. It is written : * Cast thy bur- 
den on the Lord and He will sustain thee ! ' Hear these 
words of our Lord Jesus : ' Peace I leave with you ; 
my peace I giye unto you. Not as the world giveth, 
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither 
let it be afraid.' Oh, my brethren, my sisters, believe it, 
for it is indeed true, our peace and comfort in this life de- 
pend more upon the inward state of our hearts, than upon 
outward conditions of our lives. He who carries a quiet 
conscience and a pious, trustful spirit has the secret of a 
happy life. And this our Saviour gives. Hear what he 
says : ' Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy- 
laden, and I will give you rest I ' " 

Having finished her address, Dorothy knejt upon the 
bear-skin on which she had stood, and with clasped 
hands, and face uplifted heavenward, offered silent 
prayer. 

Her prayer ended, Dorothy rose, and stood modestly 
with bowed face, awaiting the words of the Head Chief 
and his councilors. A great stillness had fallen upon the 
Council House, especially during the close of her address. 
Her voice, naturally sweet and attractive, took on a 
plaintiveness that gave her speech a mournful cadence. 
As her tones rose and fell in the utterance of the gracious 
invitations and consolations of Jesus to the burdened 
and sad-hearted, it was plain that many were deeply 
moved. Among the women, who crowded the back 
parts of the hall behind the warriors, there was little 
effort to conceal their feelings. Their lives were indeed 
weary and heavy-laden. They were scarcely better than 
beasts of burden for their proud and indolent braves, and 
Dorothy's gracious words fell like sweet music upon their 
ears. It was a long address, and its force much broken 
by the mediation of an interpreter, but they had listened 



DOROTHY'S MISSION CAMP 217 

intently to the close; and many of them had lived so 
long among the colonists that they understood most of 
what Dorothy said, even as it fell from her lips. 

The presiding Chief now spoke : " Brothers and 
Friends: We have listened to the Snowy-hair, whose 
years and wisdom we bow before with reverence. We 
have heard the voice of the Mourning Dove, as a sweet 
and plaintive song that has touched our hearts unto sad- 
ness. For she has told us of our sorrows, and she has 
set before us a balm for weary and heavy-hearted ones. 
We thank her for her sympathy which we know is sincere. 
For the ring of truth is in her words and tones, and 
the face which she turned upon us covers no trace of 
deceit. All who come to our tribe and town as peaceful 
visitors are welcome. I know no reason why we should 
turn away from us the messengers and brethren of Onas, 
our great and good Friend. But our Council will con- 
sider the matter with the deliberation that is due; and 
until we shall announce a different judgment [turning 
to Father Owen] you may bide with us and speak, as 
your opportunity serves, all that the Great Spirit has put 
in your hearts. 

" Surely such words as we have heard can do us good 
alone. We may not receive them as you do, nor ac- 
cept them as a religion for our tribe. You have taught 
us some things hard to receive, and which would turn 
back the whole current of our lives hitherto. But that 
they are weighty with the wisdom of one of the world's 
greatest Sages, renowned alike for wisdom and good- 
ness, and unselfish love for our race, we well know, for 
we dwelt long near the white men and have heard of their 
divine Prophet. And it gives us pleasure to learn, as 
we have done this day, that His grace is intended no 
less for the red man than for the pale face. It is per- 
mitted you now to retire." 

The Owen party left the Council House. Father 
Owen and Dorothy retired to their tent to await further 
results, though they were well satisfied that there would 



/ 2i8 QUAKER BEN 

be no interruption of their plans, at least for the presetiL 

Joel, Louper Jan and Andy as they went to the tent 
which served as their quarters, commented upon the con- 
ference each after his own peculiar fashion. Andy was 
enthusiastic over Dorothy's address. His eyes were near 
the dew-point when she had finished, his warm emotions 
having been keenly affected by the closing appeal. 

" There never was annything aqual to it ! " he averred. 
" My heart was in my mouth half the time she was 
spakin'. If ever there was a saint on arth, it's Miss 
Dorothy! If sich pr'achin' dis'nt convart the Indians, 
nothin' will. 'Dade, an I had the power, I'd soundly 
whup ivery mother's son and daughter of 'em 'at wouldn't 
be convarted right away ! Sure, they ought to be 'shamed 
o' thimselves, the haythens, to give the good lady so 
much trouble about their souls ! Troth, if I didn't know 
her mission was to the Indians and not to white folk, 
I'd be convarted myself, an' not have her wastin' her 
precious stren'th and time for nought. It was all I 
could do to kape from it the day, annyhow ! " 

Thereat Joel was moved to say : " Young man, thee 
doesn't understand the first principles of true Christian 
conversion. Thee talks about forcing men thereto. 
Thee can't force others, and thee can't force thyself. 
Were the Angel Gabriel himself to summon these In- 
dians by voice and trumpet to * repent and be con- 
verted,' it would effect nothing unless the Holy Spirit 
should accompany the word, and make it effectual. The 
addresses of our Friends were indeed all that we could 
wish or expect. They were full of scriptural truth, and 
spiritual tone and zest. But if the Spirit does not water 
the word, there will be no spiritual fruit. If thee would 
see thy mistress's labors honored by conversions, thee 
must look and pray for the Power from on High." 

" Humph I " ejaculated Louper Jan. " I was too much 
taken up with the rare beauty of the speaker, to mind her 
speech. It's a pity that one so fair should throw her- 
self away upon a lot of squaws and braves, when she 



DOROTHY'S MISSION CAMP 219 

might be making some honest white man happy as his 
wife. The idea of converting such cattle ! They're good 
enough Indians just as they are. It's clear flyin' in the 
face of the divine decrees to try to change 'em from 
what Providence has app'inted 'em. However, as it 
pleases Miss Dorothy, it's all right. And," (turning 
to Andy) " see that you help in the work, boy, till she 
tires of it — or it'll be the worse for you ! " 

The covert threat at the end of this remark, like 
thft mapper on a whip's lash, irritated Andy, who, though 

. from being over-sensitive, resented anything like 
jossism in one who had no lawful claim to authority. 

" H'ighty t'ighty ! " he exclaimed. " Who be you, Mr. 
Louper Jan, to threaten and give orders ? Sure, you're 
the last one to do that! You were empl'yed as guide 
and interpreter from Philadelphy to Harris's; but Two- 
tongues had to be taken on from Harris's here. And 
as to personal sarvice to Miss Dorothy, that's just what 
I'm here for, an' no thanks til you! An' I'm to take 
no orders from sich as you, I'd let you know. So plase 
mind your own business, and lave the Mistress to mind 
hern!" 

This reply with its insinuations, and the tone thereof, 
so angered the Louper that he started toward Andy with 
fists doubled up, exclaiming: 

" You little red-headed, freckled- face, bog-trottin' 
Irishman! I'll give you the lambastin' you've been 
working for this while back ! " 

There certainly would have been a collision, if Joel 
had not interposed and commanded the peace. " Let 
there be no quarreling here ! " he said. " Or I'll have 
to report to Father Owen! If there's one thing he can- 
not and will not abide, it's quarreling and fighting and 
picking at one another among his hands. That's a sure 
passport to a swift discharge." This appeal at once con- 
verted the belligerents into sons of peace; and the not 
unusual consequence of a religious discussion was averted. 

Next day the noon repast of venison and hominy. 



220 QUAKER BEN 

corn-bread and tea was being served before the Owen 
tent, when the Head Chief and two others called to in- 
form Snowy-hair and the Mourning Dove that the 
Council had agreed to welcome them to their town, and 
to listen to their message, for which purpose the Coun- 
cil House would be open to them unless otherwise oc- 
cupied. 

Having delivered their official report with the dignity 
of Roman senators, they seated themselves upon the 
ground before the table, and followed Andy's movements 
in serving the viands, with hungry eyes. Dorothy could 
do no less than offer them a share of the food, which 
they eagerly accepted. Andy, knowing their sweet tooth, 
added a triple measure of sugar to their tea, much to 
their satisfaction. 

This was no unusual occurrence as the days passed. A 
fringe of Indian warriors squatting around the table, 
waiting silently for such scraps as might be given them, 
became a common feature of the Owen meals. This 
strange mingling of " inordinate pride and a generous 
love of glory, with the mendacity of a beggar or a child," 
has been remarked as often appearing in the Indian 
character. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 

The missionary duties of Father Owen and Dorothy 
were wrought with great fidelity, and for a time with 
apparently great interest and promise of success. Then, 
without any manifest reason, the audiences in the Council 
House began to grow smaller. The cordiality with which 
the messengers had been received at first, began to wane 
in warmth. 

In response to inquiries among their little staff, 
Dorothy learned from Louper Jan that the change was 
due to the hostile attitude of a certain native prophet 
of wide popularity who was using his influence to 
counter-work against the missioners, and stir up the 
populace to expel them. The real cause was at last 
uncovered by an incident which traced it to a traitorous 
plotter in their own camp. 

Andy had slipped away from camp as was his wont 
at times, and stretching himself in the high grass by a 
thick clump of bushes, re-read his Bunyan's " Holy War." 
Of that he never tired ; and although he was most sociable 
in his nature, he would lie thus solitary for an hour at 
a time, while his imagination ran riot with the various 
captains and characters and combats in and around the 
" city of Mansoul.'* 

While thus reading and dreaming, he heard a murmur 
of approaching voices, and looking through the trees saw 
Louper Jan in conversation with a disreputable Indian 
known as Cross-eye. He drew himself still further into 
the shelter of the bushes until the men had passed him. 
Then seating themselves upon a log not far away, they 
continued the conversation that had so deeply engaged 
them. 



222 QUAKER BEN 

They spoke in the Delaware tongue, which Andy un- 
derstood well enough to follow ordinary speech. A few 
words that he caught roused his suspicions, and lay- 
ing aside his book, he strained every nerve to overhear 
what was being said. He had no scruples about eaves- 
dropping in such a case. He was a " Mr. Pry well " 
now, hearkening to the secret plots of conspiring 
" Diabolonians " in Mansoul ! At the same time he 
loosened the pistol in his belt; for he knew that if 
the two plotters should detect him, and have the faintest 
suspicion that they had been overheard, he would have to 
fight for his life. 

. . . " Yes, the plunder shall be all yours. I do 
not care for that . . . only the white wigwam and 
the young woman. . . . All the rest." . . * 
Thus, Louper Jan. 

" And the horses ? " queried Cross-eye. 

" The horses, too ! . . . for yourself and friends." 

" But Two-horse [Joel] and Snowy-hair and Stand- 
ing-hair? [Andy]. They will fight! How we get rid 
of them?" 

" No fear of that. Two-horse and Snowy-hair are 
Quakers. They will not fight. They would let you scalp 
them first." 

" Ugh ! That good ! Scalps good for Indian ! " 

" But Standing-hair is a different sort. He will fight 
to the death. And he is wise beyond his years. You 
must watch him, and strike him first or there will be 
trouble." 

Andy could pick up little more than this, for the two 
men soon rose and walked away. When they were fairly 
out of sight, he returned to camp greatly troubled in mind. 
The terrible plot that thus had become known to him 
had shocked and alarmed him. The treachery of Louper 
Jan ; the iniquitous designs against the fair and holy maid 
whom he himself served with such loving reverence and 
fidelity; the murderous purpose of Cross-eye, in which 
doubtless others were concerned, against all the Owen 



PLOT AND COUNTER.PLOT 223 

party, filled him with anxiety and alarm. The details 
of the infamous plot — the time for attack, the manner, 
and other particulars — he had not heard. But one sen- 
tence was burned into his memory: 

" Remember this. Cross-eye, the white squaw is mine ! 
Everything else is yours, to do with as you please. I 
will deliver them into your hand. But the woman is 
mine alone!'' 

The fiendish earnestness of the Louper's utterance was 
so intense that his voice rose, and the words were plainly 
heard. What now should he do? What could he do? 
He, a mere lad, alone — for Father Owen and Joel would 
not fight — in the midst of a horde of savages! Some 
of them were no doubt more or less friendly. But at 
the first sight of blood, or the first chance for scalps, 
the latent demon in them would be aroused, and many 
of them would join in the fray! 

Here, indeed, was a " Holy War," with " Diabolus " 
and old " Incredulity " and all the host of " Diabo- 
lonians I " And he, a mere youth, the only one to watch 
and ward his beleaguered " city of Mansoul ! " Then he 
bethought him of the good " Prince Immanuel " ; and 
he discerned enough of the meaning of Bunyan's alle- 
gory, to bow there in the forest and ask His aid in the 
present distress. Then he arose and walked back to the 
tent pondering deeply the situation. 

Should he reveal the plot to Miss Dorothy? Would 
she believe it? Would she not betray all by her agita- 
tion, and force matters to an issue? Should he be con- 
tent to put her on her guard by some hint, and trust 
to his own resources to circumvent the plotters ? Ought 
he to tell Father Owen, and urge him to leave the vil- 
lage at once, while he could do so ? That seemed a right 
and wise thing to do. 

Yet, on the other hand, he knew the persistent charac- 
ter of the aged Friend when once set in his purpose, and 
his unwillingness, as well as his daughter's, to credit a 
charge of so foul a design against their Indian friends. 



224 QUAKER BEN 

and their general infatuation for the red men, with which 
he had little sympathy. Yet, something must be done! 
He would watch night and day. He would not spare 
himself. He would risk all, sacrifice all, but — there 
must be help ! 

Could he get a message to his mother; or, better still, 
to Aunt Esther Harris ? Aye, that is it ! He would try 
it. Could he trust his friend Fox- foot? He must try 
it, at least ! Fox-hunt was an Indian youth about Andy's 
age. He had been down several times on various er- 
rands to Harris's Ferry, where he had met Andy. A 
strong friendship had sprung up between the two lads, 
a blood brotherhood, in fact. In the romantic spirit 
of youth they had bound themselves to life-long friend- 
ship and mutual service by an oath and exchange of 
tokens. Surely he could trust him with a letter to his 
mother and aunt, and they would find some way to rescue 
them from their dangerous situation! 

When he came to the tent he got paper, pen and ink, 
and wrote the following letter : 

" Deer Ant Ester : I have jist found out a plot agin 
all our party by that ole Diabolus Louper Jan an' Cross- 
eye, to kill an' sculp us all an' carry off Mis Dorthy. I 
dunno when it is to cum off; but sune, I am sure. Plez 
send up at wans one haf dozen good fighting men (no 
Quakers) to bring us back to Harrissis fery. I hev tole 
nobody here yit, but think uv teling farther Own soze 
he kin coax his dotter to leve. Tel mother. I trust yur 
wel known pluck and prudens to save us. this by the 
hand uv my friend Fox-foot. Giv him somethin to 
show he got this to you, and send me a pond av powder 
by same. 

" Yours respectful nevy, 

"Andy." 

" PS My trubl is Im frade Miss Dorthy wont leve. 
till we're all kilt. He do my best, but fur God's ake 
dont fale mel " 



PLOT AND COUNTER.PLOT 225 

This letter was composed most painfully and with 
several interruptions, and with Dorothy's warm encour- 
agement and commendations for thus remembering his 
mother and aunt, though she little suspected the contents. 
The writing being at last achieved, he folded and sealed 
his letter, and set forth to find his friend. Fox-foot 
had gone to Harris's once before for Dorothy for some 
supplies which Mrs. Esther had sent back promptly. 
Andy was therefore hopeful that his plan would succeed. 
Fox-foot readily undertook the errand, promised pro- 
found secrecy, and set off promptly, stimulated by the 
promise of a new and beautiful hatchet which Andy was 
to give him on his return. But, to do the lad justice, 
he was quite willing to undertake the journey simply 
from friendship for his brother, Standing-hair. 

With this clue in his. hands, it was easy for Andy to 
trace the diffusion of the unfriendly feeling against the 
missionaries. On the surface it seemed to be due wholly 
to the prophet, Red-love. But back of him, by the aid 
of Two-tongues, he found everywhere the cunningly con- 
cealed manipulation of the Louper. He was intimate 
with the prophet ; was seen to have frequent meetings with 
him. And from those meetings the Indian seer came 
forth always with his visions of the pernicious character 
of the Owen " emissaries " much clearer, and his bitter- 
ness against them more intense. Yet the Louper man- 
aged to convey his insinuations with such shrewd dis- 
simulation, that Red-love was convinced that it was only 
his own acuteness and delicate diplomacy that had 
dragged out the condemning facts from an unwilling 
witness. 

At last the agitation became so general and intense 
that the Head Chief could no longer withhold the call 
for a meeting of the Great Council which the prophet 
demanded. The Council House was crowded as on the 
day that the Owens came. Red-love was not lacking 
in that rude eloquence which has always been most ef- 
fective in swaying the Indians, and he had a subject 



226 QUAKER BEN 

which admitted of appeal to the strongest passions of 
the Delawares. 

There was first and chief the infamous policy of 
Thomas Penn. " It is vain to appeal to them," he urged, 
"by the kindly relations that once existed between our 
tribe and the great and good Onas. Onas has long 
since passed away. His sons have risen in his stead and 
with them and their councilors we have to deal. Will 
the rich harvest of one full year keep us in corn through 
many years of famine? Not with dead men — no! — 
with men alive and in power, the descendants of William 
Penn, we have to do. And what have these men done 
for the Delawares? Ah! buzzards have been hatched 
in the eagle's nest ! 

" See ! With all the professed love of the Penns and 
the Quakers for the Lenni Lenape, they are exiles from 
their homes! They have been robbed of their lands by 
lying and fraud. The perfidious Walking Purchase is 
but one, though the chief, of many outrages that have 
been put upon them. 

" Thomas Penn has gone further. He has added un- 
forgivable insult to open deceit and treachery and rob- 
bery. He has brought upon us our implacable enemies 
and conquerors — aye, for I must still say it — our 
masters, the Iroquois! Can we ever forget the insult- 
ing terms with which we have been loaded by them? 
We were whipped as with serpent's teeth and tongues 
from our beautiful seats on the Delaware to this new 
land. Can we forget? Never! Can we forgive? 
Never ! Never, while grass grows and rivers run ! And 
even now the white men, claiming to have bought their 
titles from the Penns and other Philadelphians, are plan- 
ning to take up these lands also, and drive us on and on 
toward the sunset and the evening star! Call you that 
an act of Children of a City of Brotherly Love? Nay; 
it is the act of land pirates, greedy and mad with the 
insatiable lust for land and money and ever for more 
and more ! " 



PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT 227 

Under the spell of this terrible declamation the meet- 
ing was stirred up to a fury that was almost uncon- 
trollable. Then the orator introduced the matter of the 
Owens. 

" They came to us with commissions from the true 
Friends of William Penn and of the Indians. That is 
well. But tell me, what did the Philadelphia Friends 
do, with all their friendly words and professions, to save 
us from the spoliation of Thomas Penn? Nothing! If 
they were willing, they were powerless. If they were 
able, they willed it not. 

" But their messengers are fair-spoken. They have 
an open hand. The words of Snowy-hair are weighty 
with wisdom. Those of the Mourning Dove drop with 
sweetness like honey from the bee-tree. It is true. But 
what does it all amount to — for the Indians. Is their 
no deep plot behind it ? May not these wise and honey- 
tongued messengers be themselves the unwitting tools of 
a deep conspiracy of the sons of Penn and of the white 
men now in power? It is not the gun alone that kills, 
but the gun and the man behind the gun. The weapon 
is an innocent instrument; but it slays just the same! 

" Listen to me, while I expose the white man's plot. 
Let the Indians become men of peace like the Quakers. 
Let them throw away their arms, forget their cunning in 
war, and lose their valor. Let them cease to be a terror 
to those who oppress and despoil them. What then? 
The robbery will go on unhindered! Who will oppose 
the advance of the pale-face westward, even to the Ohio, 
across our lands, like the mighty flood of the Susque- 
hanna when spring rains fall and spring freshets rise ? 

" There will be none ! Indian warriors will be as 
harmless as the Snowy-hair. The Five Nations have 
called the braves of the Delawares * Women.' If the 
mission of the Mourning Dove succeeds, they will be 
called * Quakers,' which is far worse. Then woe to our 
wives! Woe to our children! Woe to ourselves! A 
Quakerized Indian in the white man's hands, would be 



228 QUAKER BEN 

but a sparrow in the claws of a hawk! Do the Dela- 
wares wish that ? 

" There is but one remedy. The messengers of the 
Friends must go! We have given them the hand of 
welcome. We have strained our hospitality already to 
give them place and hearing as though they were our own 
people and prophets. We have done enough. Let us 
now bid them depart in peace, even as they came ! " 

This was the substance of Red-Love's oration, and it 
carried the audience. A few voices were raised in de- 
fense of the missionaries, the one so venerable, the other 
so sweet, and both so free with their gifts. Here and 
there a feeble plea was ventured for the Gospel which 
they had proclaimed, and which had brought to some 
hearts comfort and easement in their earthly cares and 
burdens, and to some had opened up a vision of a better 
life beyond. 

But the vast majority voted with enthusiasm for the 
decree of banishment. The Council dissolved, and the 
head chiefs, accompanied by the prophet, waited upon 
Father Owen and Dorothy, and informed them with deli- 
cacy but firmness that their mission must end, and that 
on the morrow they must leave Shamokin. 

The Owens were disappointed and grieved. But they 
had been somewhat prepared for this result by the events 
of the last few days, which had revealed to them the 
great change in the attitude of the Indians toward them- 
selves and their work. With sad hearts, but with sub- 
mission to what seemed the Divine Will, they gave the 
orders to leave in the morning. 

The work of packing went on briskly, and by night- 
fall everything was ready to strike tents after break- 
fast the next day. Andy's role during these preparations 
was a difficult one. The darkening clouds of tribal anger 
that overhung and threatened an outbreak; the plot of the 
treacherous Louper with the murderous Cross-eye; the 
open antagonism of the fanatical zealot. Red-love, — 
sorely taxed all the resources of one so young as he. 



PLOT AND COUNTER.PLOT 229 

He eagerly longed and watched for the return of Fox- 
foot, though he knew that hardly enough time for that 
had elapsed. The plot had burst into blossom over- 
soon! Yet, these great burdens that he carried seemed 
less irritating than the hypocritical expressions of sym- 
pathy and regret to which the Louper gave vent as he 
went back and forth preparing to break camp, and hov- 
ering around Dorothy like a gross blue bottle-fly about 
sugar. 

It was a glum and unfriendly crowd that watched the 
departure of the messengers. But a few faithful hearts, 
mostly squaws and young braves, set at defiance the now 
prevailing public sentiment, and followed the party a 
little way beyond the town, to give them a last greet- 
ing and good-by. 

"Alas," sighed Dorothy to her father, as farewells 
were said to them by this small band of faithful dis- 
ciples, " this seems a most barren ending of our mission! 
It never entered my mind that we would be thus driven 
forth, and be forbidden to speak further for Christ ! " 

" And yet, my daughter, our Divine Master prepared 
His disciples for just such a fate," the father responded, 
" when they went forth to evangelize the nations. We 
entered the door which Providence opened before us. 
We have faithfully wrought, as God is our judge ! And 
now the door has been closed upon us by no fault of 
our own, and we have been driven forth. What can 
we do but go, leaving with God in His own good time 
and way to water and fructify the good seed of the 
word which we have sown in faith and love? We are 
still God's messengers, though fleeing before his foes; 
and we must trust our work as well as ourselves in 
His Hands." 

Thus the wisdom and experience of the venerable 
saint comforted his child; yet though Dorothy lifted 
her heart trustfully to Heaven, nature found relief in 
a flood of tears. 



PART THREE 



CHAPTER XXV 

A FISHING PICNIC AT THE SCHUYLKILL 

A century and a half ago, when Philadelphia lay along 
the Delaware River, and reached westward only to the 
State House, the whole region of the Schuylkill and 
its influent, the Wissahickon, was a scene of wild natural 
rural beauty. 

At Stenton, the colonial manor of James Logan, the 
venerable friend and adjutant of William Penn, and 
recently the acting Governor, a party of young folk were 
assembled for a day's outing. Chaperoned by Madam 
Logan, they set forth in the early June morning of A. D. 
1 74 1, for the Schuylkill, bent on a holiday at fishing. 
How much allurement lay in the gentle art itself, how 
much in opportunity for quiet and meditation uninter- 
rupted by the common round of daily life; how much 
in the enjoyment of nature in her virgin loveliness at the 
fairest season of the year; and how much in other plans 
— such as love-making — openly or secretly indulged, 
who shall say? 

It was a gay horseback group that set out from Stenton 
that morning, and after a charming ride over the Ger- 
mantown hills and down the shaded glen of the Wis- 
sahickon, halted below the Falls, and was soon dispersed 
at sundry points, seeking with rods and lines for fish 
then waiting in thronging schools to reward the angler's 
art. 

Time was, in the memory of living men and women, 
that the Schuylkill, especially on the bank of its Wis- 
sahickon branch, had a special fame for "catfish and 
waffles ! " Indeed, the Indian name Wissahickon is said 



234 QUAKER BEN 

to mean "catfish." These tidbits were apt to be the 
point d'appui's of many a ride or drive or saunter along 
the creek's romantic shore. On those occasions the cat- 
fish were not caught by the pleasurers ; but there was much 
angling of another sort. Many a grandsire and great- 
grandmother of this generation could tell the story to 
children and children's children, of how, while waiting 
for the catfish and waffles to be prepared, and while 
wandering through the shaded solitudes surrounding the 
inns, they had met their fate, and set their first seal to 
vows of love. Perhaps something of that sort was in 
the air at the period of our tale! 

John Smith of Burlington, but some time settled in 
Philadelphia as a merchant and shipper, rode up from 
cityward and joined the fishing picnic. He was a sturdy, 
active young fellow, with a frank and pleasing personality 
that won him a large cirqle of friends among the best 
people. Quite a gallant of the day, he delighted much 
in waiting on the Quaker dames and maidens to various 
religious and social meetings. He was deeply in love 
with Hannah Logan, and had long bent his best en- 
deavors to win her as his wife. He found his 
" Charmer " (as he generally speaks of her in his diary), 
fishing at some distance from the rest of the company. 
As he came up and offered his apology for the intrusion, 
he was graciously received ; as indeed he might well have 
been, for a fortnight before he had been accepted by his 
" Charmer." Concerning the present event he wrote : 
" I had the pleasantest day in fishing that I ever em- 
ployed that way before." Apparently the weight and 
number of the catch had nothing to do with the con- 
clusion ! Wherein was shown, of course, a lack of the 
true fisherman spirit. 

When the noon-hour arrived, the fishers rallied for 
luncheon under the shadow of a large chestnut-tree. 
James Pemberton (a great chum of John Smith) Phoebe 
and Grace Owen, their brothers Gains and Marcus, were 
of the party; and as luncheon is usually the most de- 



A FISHING PICNIC 235 

lightful part of such a picnic, there was a merry time 
spreading the white cloths on the green sward, emptying 
baskets of their alluring contents, and disposing in due 
order the divers relishes, of which there was enough for 
two such occasions. It was a light-hearted group, 
though by no means a light-headed one; and the con- 
versation, though not shunning serious topics, was punc- 
tuated by frequent peals of laughter, startling the birds 
which had begun to assemble in the nearby trees, drawn 
by the tempting portions that fair hands were casting 
to them. 

" By the way," said John Smith, " I have just heard 
a rare bit of news from Friend Henry Coates, who was 
in at the store this morning. Thou knows him well, 
Jemmy ! " — turning to James Pemberton — " and thou, 
his wife," — nodding to Hannah Logan — "who bears 
thy name. It is of a wonderful conversion of a young 
naval officer who came back from the Cartagena 
Expedition, not long ago, on a sick transport. He is 
unknown to all of us, I think, but we will be highly 
interested in his case. He is a Scotch youth named 
Robin More, the son of the master of a privateer named 
' The Heather.' " 

There was a flutter among the Owens at this. " Why, 
yes ! " Phcebe exclaimed. " Some of us do know him ! 
That is, we have met him occasionally. He went off 
to the war with our brother Benjamin, who was quite 
friendly with him. We had not heard of his return, 
and shall be glad to hear anything good of him." 

" Then," said John Smith, " my story will be of es- 
pecial interest to some of us." And he proceeded to re- 
late the spiritual transformation of Robin More as Henry 
Coates had told it, closing with the young man's 
purpose, after great mental struggles, to unite with the 
Society of Friends. It was listened to with deep 
attention, at times in profound silence, again with ex- 
clamations of lively interest. Than such a company as 
that, the tale could have had no heartier hearers. Like 



236 QUAKER BEN 

Henry and Hannah Coates, they all perceived in it the 
mighty working of the quickening Spirit, in whose divine 
presence and power they believed as firmly as did the 
primitive disciples after Pentecost. 

" How will this affect the young man's future ? " Mrs. 
Logan asked. " He has acted in the matter wholly on 
his own responsibility, it appears. Will his father con- 
sent to his change of faith and life?" 

" Lieutenant More does not know. He hopes he may ; 
but he fears the worst. By a vessel bound for Jamaica, 
he has written a letter which he trusts may be received 
in due time, in which he states his case fully and asks 
approval." 

"But if the father should refuse?" asked Hannah 
Logan. 

" My daughter, thee knows that William Penn's father 
followed the sea, indeed was of high rank, and when 
his son joined the Friends, the Admiral cast him off. 
He afterward revoked his decision; but it was a great 
trial at the time. Nothing worse can befall young More. 
If the worst comes to the worst, Friends must make 
it a point to do the friendly part by him." 

" If I am any judge of character," suggested Gaius 
v^ Owen, "he is not the sort of man likely to ask help 

from anyone. He struck me as a proud and inde- 
pendent fellow, well able to shift for himself." 

" Did thee not say. Friend John," said Grace Owen, 
speaking quietly and softly, " that the young man is an 
expert seaman ? That is in thy line of business. Surely 
he need not lack for employment, as long as honest trad- 
ing ships need experienced masters ! " 

"The very thing!" cried Hannah, with enthusiasm. 
" John, thee must take this matter up, if need be! Grace 
is quite right, as she generally is. What sort of a person 
is this Robin More ? " 

The question was addressed to Grace, but that maiden 
paid no attention to it. She sat with cheeks and chin 
resting on her two palms, gazing across the river as if 



A FISHING PICNIC 237 

in profound meditation. Phoebe, seeing her sister's self- 
absorbed condition, took it upon her to reply. 

" We know but little of him. Yet that little is highly 
favorable. He is a young man of pleasing appearance. 
Indeed, one might speak of him as handsome. He is 
affable and courteous in his manners. I have never seen 
a better bred gentleman. He has the old-fashioned 
dignity of bearing, yet without arrogance, and with a 
simplicity and modesty that we have been taught to as- 
sociate with high rank." 

" Stenton manners! " interjected James Pemberton 
sotto voce. 

" Yes, something that way ! " quoth Phoebe, nodding 
and smiling. " He was an officer on his father's ship, 
and that did not invite to intimacy with a family of our 
principles. But as far as we knew him, we highly es- 
teemed him, and wished him well. He left for the war 
without saying good-by, except by a message through our 
brother Benjamin; and your news just told is the first we 
have heard about him since he left. I suppose he does 
not feel at liberty to intrude upon so slight an acquaint- 
ance." 

" Humph ! " quoth brother Marcus, speaking sotto voce, 
or what was doubtless intended to be such. " Our eld- 
est brother Paul quietly intimated that father would be 
pleased to learn fully about his family and principles, 
continuing the honor of his visits." 

" Very proper indeed ! " Mrs. Logan remarked. 
" Young ladies cannot be too careful in forming and en- 
couraging acquaintances, especially when their family 
antecedents are not well-known. But here is a case in 
which without undue boldness, thy chance acquaintance 
might be made to serve a most worthy end." 

Perhaps Grace's self -absorption was not as deep as sup- 
posed ; or something may have aroused her from it. At 
least, as Phoebe pronounced her encomium upon Robin 
More, the blood rose into her cheeks. Her eyes lost 
their far-away look, and lighted up as under a play of 



238 QUAKER BEN 

pleasant fancies. Then, when Mark's mumbled comment 
was uttered, she turned toward him a glance of sharp 
surprise and vexation. Her mouth parted as though to 
speak; but she bit her lips and was silent, until Madam 
Logan's remarks seemed to call for some response: 

" It is just like thee, dear Mother Logan, to take a 
kindly interest in this young man who seems to need 
friendly counsel. But the gracious offices you suggest 
are not for maidens to do. If any of our family are 
to act, it must be the men. But what is to hinder thee, 
or any other woman Friend of mature years, or any man 
Friend, from such kindly acts as thee may be moved 
to?" 

The luncheon being now over, the young women un- 
dertook to clear away, and to pack up the baskets, while 
the men, leaving them awhile to themselves, walked up the 
glen along the beautiful creek-side to the house of the 
Hermit of the Wissahickon, Conradus Matthew. He 
was the last of the Pietists or Mystic Hermits, of whom 
Kelpius was the head. On the death of Kelpius in 1708, 
the community began to decline, and continued to decrease 
until Matthew alone remained. He was then nearly 
eighty years old, and continued his hermit life for ten 
years longer. 

Our visiting picnickers found him in fairly good health. 
He greeted them kindly, conversing in intelligible Eng- 
lish, though a Switzer. He talked freely on religious 
subjects, having a good deal of sympathy with the pecu- 
liar views of Friends, and was especially vigorous in con- 
demning war, warmly endorsing the Quaker testimony on 
that point. 

As they walked back to rejoin their party, Mr. Smith 
remarked : " There seemed a lack of depth in that ex- 
perience of spiritual things and communion with the 
Divine Spirit, which might be expected in one who has 
professed for so long a time, now more than thirty years, 
to have withdrawn his mind from all other objects, and 
to have fixed it on heavenly things alone." 



A FISHING PICNIC 239 

" Perhaps," Gaius Owen answered, " thee has not suffi- 
ciently counted on the effect of those innumerable petty 
affairs that nature and necessity force upon the atten- 
tion of one who is compelled to self -ministry. These 
things tend to absorb attention, belittle the mind, and nar- 
row one's spiritual vision. The spirit may be willing, 
' but the flesh is weak,' as the apostle says. By which, 
of course, he means that it is weak spiritually; or in 
other words, is terribly strong to assert and enforce its 
own demands. At least, I confess to that sort of an 
experience." 

" May it not be," suggested James Pemberton, " that 
we fall into an error just there? Are not the claims 
of the * flesh,' that is, of the animal or physical nature 
(not the corrupt disposition and habits, as the apostle 
uses the word), in their legitimate sphere and degree, 
worthy of recognition as entirely within the law of 
righteousness? Man is a complex being. He is com- 
posed of body, mind and spirit. Every element of his 
being is God-given, and its exercise is God-approved. 
Do not men err, and do violence to their own natures, 
when they force into abnormal development any one ele- 
ment at the expense of others? Men may over-develop 
the mental nature, at the expense of both the spiritual 
and physical. Equally they may tax the physical and the 
mental, with all their social and other natural functions, 
in a forced development of the spiritual side of their 
being. Is it not the well balanced exercise of all the 
human faculties and functions, with the three-fold aim 
to glorify God, bless humanity, and enlarge and ennoble 
one's whole life, that brings about the highest type 
of manhood? It seems to me that the error of these 
Hermits lies somewhat in this direction. They lack the 
just human balance. The physical proves too strong for 
them without the legitimate checks and balances of other 
elements of a social creature, and being refused its due 
and natural demands, it rebels, and reacts and asserts it- 
self in spite of all curbs and denials. I believe that 



240 QUAKER BEN 

Friends and others, who temperately use the body, and 
cherish the family and the home, and the social and 
civil estate and duties, are thereby in a fairer way to 
cherish and develop the highest spiritual character and 
life, than such recluses as Father Matthew and the 
Hermits of the Wissahickon. But there! I fear I have 
been preaching, though this is a fishing picnic." 

"Thee need make no apology, Friend Jemmy," said 
John Smith. " As I read the Gospels, there was a great 
deal of sound givings-forth, on certain fishing occasions 
in the old Galilean days. But yonder are the ladies, and 
we may join them now." 

Meanwhile, Phcebe and Grace Owen were sauntering 
along the bank of the stream with arms intercrossed 
around each other's waists, talking over the strange in- 
cident which John Smith had repeated. 

" What does thee think of it, Grace? " queried Phoebe. 

" What should I think of it, but that He who arrested 
Saul and converted him from a persecutor into a preacher 
of the Gospel, still lives and reigns, and in achieving 
spiritual conquests is as mighty as ever ? Does thee think 
it a greater task for God's Spirit to win Robin More of 
the ' Heather ' than Saul of Tarsus? " 

" Indeed, no ! " replied Phoebe. " And I feel my own 
faith more firmly planted because of such good tidings. 
But I was thinking, Grace dear, that Robin always seemed 
to take a special interest in thee, and wondered, some- 
times, if thee didn't care just a little for him. In truth, 
our family were a bit anxious about it. I do not mean 
our parents, of course. I doubt if a faintest thought of 
that sort ever came to them. Thee knows how they feel 
about Paul and Rhoda Reagan, one of our dearest 
friends, unexceptionable in every way, except that she is 
of the Church. But that thee would care for a nameless 
and unknown rover, they would deem simply impossible ; 
and I must say, none of us thought seriously of it." 

Grace was not prompt to reply. They walked in 
silence along the babbling stream, in whose overhanging 



A FISHING PICNIC 241 

trees the birds were caroling their mating songs, or 
twittering and chirping their nest-building notes as they 
busily flitted to and fro. At last she spoke: 

" Phoebe, dear, thee and I have always been as one 
heart and mind in all matters. Let me say then, once 
for all, that thee is quite right; our parents are quite 
right. There was never the remotest probability that I 
would encourage the advances — supposing them to have 
been made — of a man of the occupation and association 
of Lieutenant Robin More; though I confess that a more 
gentlemanly and agreeable person I never met. Nor was 
there ever word or token of any sort from him that he 
cared for me other than as a passing acquaintance. If 
he had such feelings, he was assuredly most successful in 
hiding them. It is more than a year since I have seen 
him or heard of him, and I am not likely to see him 
again. But there ! Our folk are hoo-hooing for us and 
it is time for us to be back at our fishing tackle." 



CHAPTER XXVI 

CUPID WALKS A HOSPITAL WARD 

The year 1741 was marked in Philadelphia by an 
outbreak of a fever, popularly known as the " Palatine 
Distemper," because it was first and for a while chiefly 
observed among German immigrants from the Palat- 
inate. But Dr. Thomas Bond, a prominent physician 
of the period declared it to be yellow fever. Whether 
introduced by German immigrants or by vessels plying 
between Philadelphia and Cartagena, may be a ques- 
tion. But it is certain that it caused many deaths and a 
large exodus of citizens to the suburbs. It is not im- 
probable that the exit of Thomas Penn, who left for Eng- 
land in August of that year, may have been due to his 
desire to place the ocean between himself and the pre- 
vailing pestilence. 

As commonly it has been in like conditions, there were 
then some spirits in whom the presence of danger, and 
the distress of their fellows awakened sentiments of com- 
passion and self-sacrificing purpose to aid the sufferers. 
Among these was Robin More. His natural benevolence 
was quickened by his recent religious experience. He had 
recruited so rapidly from the effects of his Cartagena 
attack, that he felt able for duty of any sort, and hearing 
that there was great need for volunteer nurses to care 
for the sick in Philadelphia, he offered himself, and was 
gratefully accepted. 

His first ministrations took him to the Friends' Alms 
House that occupied a spacious lot on Walnut Street 
near Third. Here a temporary ward had been prepared 
for the reception of fever sufferers. As he entered and 



CUPID WALKS 243 

reported for duty to the physician in charge, he was 
warmly greeted. 

" We are pretty strong-handed to-day/' s^id the doc- 
tor, "as two of our best young lady helpers are with 
us. But it is hard to overtake the increasing demands 
upon us. Ah, here comes a new case now ! " 

An elderly woman was brought in by two bearers, who 
laid her upon a vacant cot near the door, and then fled, 
as though terrified by even a moment's presence in a room 
occupied by victims of the dreaded fever. Robin joined 
the doctor in arranging a pallet and giving such first aid as 
was suggested. He was bending over the cot when the 
doctor addressed him. 

" Mr. More, I have called one of the women nurses, 
who will take charge. If you can help her she will let 
you know." 

Robin lifted his eyes. There stood Grace Owen! A 
little Quaker cap crowned her brown hair. A neat white 
over-apron covered her plain frock. Her eyes had a 
startled look as she gazed upon Robin kneeling at the 
cot-side. There was a moment of confusion. Her face 
flushed and then paled, and then flushed again. It was 
but for a moment. With admirable self-command 
Grace recovered herself, and to the doctor's brief intro- 
duction replied: 

" Mr. More and I are old acquaintances. We knew 
one another before he went off to the Spanish war. How 
fares it with thee ? I heard that thee had been very ill." 

Robin arose, and took the hand that Grace extended 
to him as she stepped to the side of the cot. His heart 
was beating violently. A great weakness seized him, so 
intense were his emotions and so sudden their onset. His 
impulse was to kiss the hand that rested in his, and whose 
touch thrilled him. But summoning all his powers of 
self-control, he merely bowed and returned the gentle 
pressure, though with an emphasis and a warmth which 
sent their unconscious signal tingling through Grace's 
nerves. 



244 QUAKER BEN 

"I thank thee, Friend Grace!" he replied. "I am 
quite recovered, and am strong enough to venture to 
render to sufferers the aid so freely given me by thy 
brother Benjamin and others. Can I help thee in aught 
here?" 

" Thee may help me lift this woman, and get her into 
a more comfortable position. Then, as we will have to 
change her dress, thee may call my friend Agnes Oster 
to help me in that." In planning and serving, Grace had 
recovered wholly her self-command. 

"Agnes Oster, did thee say?" queried Robin, "the 
sister of our Hospital Steward, Alfred Oster? If so, 
I owe her a great debt for the devoted service of her 
brother in my time of need." 

" It is indeed she," answered Grace. " But haste thee ! 
This patient is in need of help, and other matters may 
wait." 

Robin hurried to the opposite end of the ward where 
Agnes and the doctor were engaged, and gave the mes- 
sage. The physician sent Agnes to Grace's aid, and bade 
Robin take her place. 

" She can be of no further use in this case," the doctor 
added in a low voice. " Nor indeed can anyone — un- 
less perhaps you know how to pray! Kindly watch 
here till the end comes, and I will go where I can be of 
use." 

Did he " know how to pray ? " Robin was not sure. 
For never as yet had he prayed with another soul. And 
now, must he begin with this dying woman ? — a maiden, 
not far from his own age, and showing signs of former 
comeliness even in the ghastly article of death. Yes, he 
would take up the duty and do the best he could! He 
kneeled by the cot, and placing his lips near the woman's 
ear, repeated words of Isaiah which he had read that 
morning, and whose rare beauty had fixed them in mem- 
ory. 

''Fear not, for I have redeemed thee! I have called 
thee by thy name, thou art Mine. When thou passest 



CUPID WALKS 245 

through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the 
rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest 
through the Are, thou shall not be burned, neither shall 
the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, 
the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." 

Then he uttered in a low voice a broken prayer. There 
was a slight quivering of the maiden's eyelids, a faint 
passing light as of consciousness upon the face, which 
made Robin hope that the prophet's words, at least, had 
been understood. But when the doctor came around 
again, life was quite extinct. 

The orderly was called, and Robin helped him carry the 
corpse to the little outer room where the dead were laid, 
and where already another silent form awaited its hasty 
burial in the nearby Mall, now known as Washington 
Square. 

Shortly after the noon-hour a fresh group of volunteers 
came, and Robin and the two young women were re- 
lieved. They walked home together, and ere Agnes was 
left at her mother's door, Robin had much to tell her of 
her brother's noble service. Of his death he had not 
heard, though word of it had reached the Osters. 

At the Owen mansion Robin was cordially welcomed, 
and once more found himself seated at that hospitable 
board, in the midst of the large and happy family ; though 
there, as everywhere, the shadow of the pestilence had 
fallen, and subdued the usual buoyancy of the table-talk. 

Not a word had been spoken of his conversion. But 
there was a mute interchange of sympathy in the warm 
pressure of hands, the subdued tones of voices and the 
softening glances of eyes, that plainly signaled the inner 
feelings of spiritual fellowship and greeting. The ice 
was at last broken by Mother Lydia. 

" We have heard of the great change in thy religious 
life," she said, ''and we thank God and congratulate 
thee thereon. It will not be easy for thee under the cir- 
cumstances. There are trials before thee which those 
who have been brought up in Friendly homes cannot well 



246 QUAKER BEN 

appreciate. There is but one course for thee to pursue : 
take thy stand at once wholly and decidedly, though 
modestly and unobtrusively, on the side of the truth as 
thee has seen and accepted it Some may look on thee 
at first with distrust. There will be, as in all human 
beginnings, a period of probation. But when they see 
that thou art in earnest, the way will open up before 
thee." 

It was good advice. It expressed the sense of the 
family gathering. And it ran with Robin's own convic- 
tions of manly and Christian duty and expediency. He 
did not wait long with the Owens, but returned to his 
inn alert and elate. He seemed walking on air. The 
depressing scenes of the morning were lightened before 
the recollection of his meeting with Grace Owen, and 
his reception by her. Hope, which had died down within 
him, began to revive, and drew upon the brightening 
background of his fancy a picture of some future wherein 
he might tell his love, and beg, with a measure of as- 
surance, for its return. 

But not now! No; even could he be sure of a favor- 
able reception — not now ! As he pondered the matter, 
there had arisen the fear — and once come, it haunted 
him like a specter that would not be laid — that men 
might think and say that his religious transformation 
had its roots in his love for Grace Owen and his wish 
to win her; that even Grace or her family might suspect 
that ! It was a disturbing thought. • 

But there! Why should he anticipate such base sus- 
picions? And if they should come, he must bear them 
patiently as a part of what Mother Lydia had called his 
" probation." At least, and that was the conclusion of 
it all, there should be no hint of love to Grace until his 
probation had been well passed, and his sincerity made 
known to all men. 

The next day he was again at the Alms House, and 
with Grace and Agnes wrought in the care of the stricken 
patients, who were now rapidly filling up the wards. 



CUPID WALKS 247 

There is something in such joint service for others that 
opens the heart to one's fellow laborers. The highest 
qualities of human character are apt then to be disclosed. 
The tender elements are quickened. Spirits are united 
in mutual respect and admiration, and enduring friend- 
ships are formed. 

Perhaps it was due to this that Grace felt drawn 
more closely to Robin during the days that they walked 
the hospital wards together. Little was said beyond the 
needful exchanges for tending the sick. But acts, modes, 
expressions, often trivial in themselves, were continually 
appearing, which disclosed characteristics that won for 
Robin an esteem that every day grew stronger. 

So two weeks passed, and then there came a day when 
Robin was assigned to duty elsewhere. Grace, who had 
looked for his coming with an interest which she had 
not suspected, found her eyes wandering unconsciously 
toward the door by which he was wont to enter. When 
he did not come, she was conscious of a feeling of — 
was it disappointment? And was it simply because she 
missed from her work the helping hands to which she 
so soon had grown accustomed? Or? — but the press- 
ing duties of the hour forbade much questioning or 
indulgence in loneliness. Yet, when on the next day no 
Robin appeared, and no explanation of his absence, Grace 
was compelled to confess to herself there was a void in 
her mind that startled her. 

The doctor broke in upon her thoughts. " I have 
brought you a new helper this morning. She wishes to 
avoid publicity and to be known as * Madam Mary ' sim- 
ply. Please indulge her fancy for the time being. You 
will find her an agreeable and, I think, a useful helper." 

He returned presently bringing with him the new vol- 
unteer nurse. " Madam Mary," he said, " this is Miss 
Grace Owen, who will direct you in your duties until 
you can get in touch with them." 

The newcomer was a handsome woman apparently 
not yet forty. Her clear blue eyes, rosy cheeks, glossy 



248 QUAKER BEN 

brown hair, bright smile, and springing movements gave 
the impression of vigorous health. But withal, espe- 
cially when the features were in repose, there were traces 
of sadness, as if some great sorrow had befallen, or 
some secret grief were hidden within her breast. 

" Miss Owen, I am happy to meet you and serve with 
you ! " Her voice was low, and perfectly modulated, the 
voice of a person of culture, as all her bearing showed her 
to be. There was a slight Scotch — or was it Irish? — 
accent in her speech which added to its richness and 
piquancy. " Your name is not unfamiliar. I have met 
a Captain Owen who perhaps is one of your family ? " 

" My foster brother, Madam Mary. But pardon me 
if I at once ask thee to help me to put fresh sheets upon 
this cot, and change the linen on the patient. The 
woman, we think, is convalescent." 

The gracious manner of Madam Mary's assent, and the 
readiness of her aid, proved her to be as efficient in 
service as ladylike in deportment. The quickness with 
which she took up the duties of the ward; the keen 
sympathy, variant with varying cases, yet never made 
inefficient by vocal expression or nervousness; the gen- 
tle, yet strong and steady, touch so grateful to an invalid ; 
that insight of needs which seemed to know without being 
told the thing to do, and the unfailing and sunny patience 
that came to one's relief — gave promise in Madam Mary 
of a model nurse. 

A week passed, and yet another, and Robin had not 
appeared at the Friends' Alms House. But Dr. Cald- 
walader reported that he had been occupied every day 
among the Palatines, it having been learned that he spoke 
German. " In truth," he added, " the young man must 
spare himself a little, or he will go the way of some of 
the rest ! He has been doing good and hard service, and 
has won many high encomiums from citizens, and the 
warm gratitude of the humble people whom he serves." 

Grace listened intently. " But what is this young man 
to her (she thought) that she should feel a special in- 



CUPID WALKS 249 

terest in him ? " She was vexed at herself that her heart 
responded first with anxiety, and then with pride to the 
physician's words. She tried to push Robin from her 
thoughts by quickening her wonted activities for her pa- 
tients ; and when the hour for relief came, the day's duties 
had tired her more than usual, and she walked home 
with lagging gait. 

She heard the patter of rapid footsteps upon the path 
behind her, and a voice which she at once recognized as 
Robin More's, calling, " Friend Grace ! " Her heart 
leaped up gladly, and seemed now to be pouring the very 
elixir of vitality through nerves and muscles. Yet, — 
strange perversity of dawning love! — she feigned not 
to hear, and quickened her pace. 

" Friend Grace ! " the voice called again. 

Then came a flash of indignation at herself for an 
affectation so foreign to her nature. She stopped, and 
turned upon the young man a countenance that expressed 
her real emotion of honest pleasure. He looked pale 
and worn, but his handsome face brightened up with 
responsive pleasure at the meeting. 

" May I walk with you to your home ? " he asked. " I 
cannot tarry now; but I would like permission to call 
on you this evening. I feel that I need cheering up a 
bit, and an hour or two in your charming household will 
act like a tonic. I take every precaution against infec- 
tion, and I know your folk do not fear the presence of 
voluntary nurses; for your brother Paul has been help- 
ing me, and we all know of your service.'* 

" It will give me great pleasure ! " quoth Grace ; and 
that was surely an honest word. 

The walk to the Owen house was a short one, but it 
took an unusually long time to cover it that day. As 
Robin bade Grace good-by and turned away, the maiden 
entered the door in unwontedly good spirits. That tired 
feeling of the morning had quite vanished. What a 
marvelous influence our mental moods have upon our 
physical state! And how little we understand and use 



250 QUAKER BEN 

this strange power in our daily lives and our relations to 
others ! 

Fresher and brighter for the evening bath and change 
of dress, Robin was early at the Owens ; and Grace, too, 
rested by an afternoon nap and sweetened by a fresh 
toilet, received him with a cordial greeting. Underneath 
it, dimly defined, so dimly that she was barely conscious 
of it, lay a wonder as to what might be in the young 
man's mind, and what it might bring forth for her. 

The evening was warm ; the full moon was just rising ; 
and the family sat on the side-porch that faced the 
orchard and garden. It was embowered with clematis 
and honeysuckle ; and by and by, when tea and cake were 
served, and the moon had mounted higher, the scene was 
so fair and soothing, and the evening passed so quickly 
and pleasantly, that they almost forgot the dreadful 
pestilence that walked among them. 

Then Robin told the special reason for his visit. He 
had received from a well-known merchant and shipper 
an offer to go as master and supercargo of a fine large 
brig that had just been finished and fitted out. He had 
accepted the offer. The worst of the fever, it was be- 
lieved, was over. He would withdraw from the service 
of relief and devote himself to mustering a crew, laying 
in the cargo, and putting the vessel in shape for sailing. 
The destination of the ship had not yet been announced; 
perhaps it would be Jamaica. But it would be a voyage 
of several months. He would call again, if he might, to 
say farewell; but they had all been so kind to him that 
he wished them, before all others, to know his plans. 

Ere Grace retired that night, she leaned out of her bed- 
room window, and watched the shadows of the trees so 
vividly outlined upon the lawn that they seemed like real 
things. Strange fancies, and sweet they were, as well, 
flitted through her brain — (were they, too, only shad- 
ows?) — and somehow the form of Robin More was 
interwoven with them all. 

From his inn-window Robin also looked out, but not 



CUPID WALKS 251 

upon orchard and lawn ; on the moon-lit street and brick 
houses, the broad river and the shipping. He, too, had 
his visions ; but they were of success upon the great sea 
which he knew so well; of a home somewhere, with 
Grace Owen the light and joy and presiding spirit there- 
of. Great God of the ocean and moon-lit land, could 
such happiness be for him? Could he ever be worthy of 
it? Then he, too, lay down to untroubled sleep. 

With October came clear days and cooler nights, and 
wholesome conditions. Dawning hope heralded the com- 
ing of rising confidence. The pulse of business quick- 
ened. The stir of new life was felt along the Delaware 
front and its vicinage. Fugitives were talking of re- 
turning home. The sick felt the healing tonic of the 
brightened environment; and the prevailing hope and 
good cheer checked the progress or stayed the coming 
of attacks. The Alms House patients were far fewer 
and the cases less violent and fatal. 

And Madam Mary announced that her task was over, 
and that she was about to leave. The attendant physi- 
cians and her associate nurses saw her go with warm 
expressions of good-will. The convalescents were grate- 
ful and tearful. Of Grace she asked the favor before 
the final farewell, of going with her to her home, as she 
wished to have a private talk with Mrs. Owen. 

Grace mounted to her own room at the head of the 
stair and left Mother Lydia and Madam Mary together 
in the little parlor. An hour and more thereafter, Grace 
heard the front door open and her mother's voice upon 
the porch. Looking out, she saw Mother Lydia, in bid- 
ding Madam Mary farewell, draw her to herself and 
kiss her upon the cheek. Madam Mary as she passed 
down the path between the borders of fall flowers, seemed 
to have been weeping. What transpired during that 
long interview was never fully revealed. But this much 
her mother told Grace when her visitor had gone : 

" Thine unknown helper, of whose brave and self- 
denying labors thee has sa often spoken, has given me 



252 QUAKER BEN 

her name and bidden me tell thee. She is Lady Jenks, 
the late companion of Thomas Pena She has told 
me the story of her life; and a pitiful tale it is. She 
was well born and well reared, but the love of pleasure 
and a misguided affection led her astray. She fondly 
cherished the hope that Thomas Penn would acknowledge 
her as his lawful wife. But when he abandoned her 
and went to England in August last, she was well-nigh 
heart-broken. The call for volunteer helpers to care for 
the fever-stricken, awoke in her a wish to do some good 
to her fellow creatures, and mayhap find easement for 
her own sorrow by bringing aid to the suffering. She 
concealed the name by which she is known, lest her 
offered help might not be welcomed. Her experience 
amid the awful incidents of the last few weeks has 
wrought a great change in her views and feelings. She 
is naturally proud and high-spirited; but she is now a 
heart-sore and, I hope, a penitent woman, who, I trust, 
has experienced the Saviour's beatitude : * Blessed are 
they that mourn, for they shall be comforted ! ' I have 
pointed her to the only sure Source of comfort, of for- 
giveness and spiritual cleansing. May that Holy Spirit 
guide her into righteousness and peace! She asked me 
to tell thee as much of her story as seemed right, and 
to bid thee farewell for her, and say that thee would see 
her no more. Let this matter bide between thee and me. 
It would be ill to set the tongue of gossip agoing. 
Heaven help us all ; for truly we all need to pray, * For- 
give us our trespasses ! ' " 

Another incident marked this dark period, which it 
benefits us to record. One day a gentleman called at 
the Oster house and asked for Mrs. and Miss Oster. 
The maid told him that both ladies were out, and that he 
could find Miss Agnes at the Friends' Alms House. He 
left word that he would call in the evening, as he had 
important business in hand. But plainly the stranger 
changed his mind; for passing into Walnut Street, he 
walked down to Third and entered the Alms House. He 



CUPID WALKS 253 

gave his name to the Irish attendant at the door, and 
asked to see Miss Oster, if she could leave her duties 
for a little while. 

" He is a fine-looking, blackavised man," was the mes- 
sage brought to Agnes, " and by his dress a soldier or 
a minister, I could not tell which. He did not give his 
name in full, but just said to tell you he was a ' son of 
Henry, and came from Cartagena.' " 

" It must be the Chaplain who wrote us about Alfred's 
death ! " said Agnes ; and, as duty was not pressing, she 
hastened to the little office to meet him. It was indeed 
Chaplain Addison Henry. As he had come to Philadel- 
phia especially to see her mother and herself, the physi- 
cian readily excused her, and the two walked home 
together. When they arrived, Mrs. Oster had come in, 
and the good Chaplain had the melancholy privilege of 
giving mother and sister the full details of the hospital 
steward's noble service and triumphant death. 

Some souvenirs of their dear one he had brought from 
Cartagena, which he would bring to them that evening. 
Not a word was spoken of the shadowed chapter in 
Alfred's life, which the Chaplain believed had been fully 
atoned for by Him whose blood " cleanseth us from all 
sin," and which was fully testified to by the Sergeant's 
faithful Christian life as a soldier, and his heroic death. 
In the evening Chaplain Henry called to leave the 
promised souvenirs, and the more substantial token of 
Alfred's whole back pay, which had been sent by him. 
He tarried longer than he had intended, and left with the 
decided impression that Agnes Oster was not only a 
beautiful but a sensible and pious young lady. 

The next morning he called at the Alms House, and 
offered his services during his brief stay in Philadel- 
phia, as a volunteer nurse, " especially as an aid to Miss 
Oster, in view of his close relations to her brother dur- 
ing the war. As he had seen much similar service on 
the Spanish Main, he might count himself, if not an ex- 
pert nurse, at least a somewhat experienced one." Hap- 



254 QUAKER BEN 

pily the great pressure of need had now passed, but as 
there would still be much to do for a week or two, his 
offer was accepted. 

Chaplain Henry, an ordained minister of the Re- 
formed Church of Holland, was a man of comely pres- 
ence, of good family, of substantial means; and withal 
of fine abilities as was shown by a sermon preached in 
the First Presbyterian Church on the following Sunday. 
It was not often that Agnes Oster forsook her seat in 
Gloria Dei Church wherein her family had worshiped 
since its founding before the coming of Penn. But on 
that occasion courtesy to her brother's friend appeared 
to justify her in going to hear him. And she took with 
her not only her mother, but her friend Grace Owen, 
who sometimes indulged in an " occasional hearing " of 
" hireling ministers," despite the admonition of the Meet- 
ing's Overseers. That he was well worth listening to, 
all were agreed. Agnes declared that he was both in- 
structive and interesting; while Grace considered his 
sermon eloquent and his manner graceful. 

The attractions of Philadelphia seemed to strengthen 
daily in Chaplain Henry's mind, and they centered 
largely around the Friends' Alms House and the Oster 
home. The vessel sailing for New York, in which he 
had engaged passage, left port without him, and he was 
obliged to wait for another opportunity; to which mis- 
fortune he was sweetly resigned, as became a gentle- 
man of his cloth. 

In short, he had resolved, if the way should be clear, 
to take back to his thrifty New Amsterdam parish a 
pastor's wife; since he had found in Philadelphia one 
whom he judged to be eminently endowed by personal 
and mental and spiritual graces (the only dower that 
he sought), for that responsible position. 

This was a matter which it took two parties to de- 
termine ; but as Cupid had once more been walking that 
hospital ward, his advances were favorably met. But 
the Chaplain's plans miscarried in part; for Agnes was 



CUPID WALKS 255 

not quite ready for such vigorous wooing and hasty 
marriage, so soon after her brother's death. Mr. Henry 
therefore had to sail away without her; but with the 
promise that when he should return in due time, his 
manse might be prepared to welcome a bride, and with 
her the mother from whom Agnes could not b« parted. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

DOROTHY FALLS INTO THE HANDS OF DIABOLONIANS 

The first day's march of the Owen party covered 
about sixteen miles. The trail followed the Susque- 
hanna through deep woods broken here and there by bits 
of natural meadow-lands that gave lush pasturage for 
the horses. It was not easy to make headway with a 
wagon, but it finally won through to the first night's 
camp. 

Soon the tent was pitched, and a great camp-fire was 
crackling, and piercing the light river mist with its cheer- 
ful blaze. The pleasant bustle of making the evening 
meal, caring for the horses, and preparing for the night's 
rest, sped on the evening until dusk. The sun set be- 
hind a mass of red, orange, golden and lavender clouds, 
that had a strange seeming, against the background of 
distant mountains, as of mighty forces stirring and 
marshaling behind them. So weird was the effect that 
Two-tongues, the Mohican, shook his head and declared 
that " Manitou was brewing a big storm in the Sun ! " 

As the nightfall deepened, the travelers settled down 
for rest. The curtain that divided the tent into two 
parts was stretched, giving Dorothy some privacy by 
screening her from her father's premises. Bear-skins 
were laid upon pine-tree twigs making a comfortable 
couch. When the silent pause for family worship was 
over, good nights were said, and a deep stillness fell upon 
the camp. 

The Louper had left, saying he would go to the river 
to catch a mess of fish for the morning breakfast. 
Andy, worn out by long waking and anxiety, asked Joel 



DIABOLONIANS 257 

Knowles, the owner of the Owen camp wagon, to take 
the first watch, from dusk to midnight; then lay down 
in his place by Father Owen, and was in a sound sleep 
a moment thereafter. Two-tongues slept in the men's 
tent. Joel sat by the smouldering fire till it had died 
down to a mass of glowing coals. Then he walked 
the tour of the camp, keeking here and there to see if all 
were well. 

Throwing an armful of wood upon the coals, he 
watched the fire eat into the sticks and creep along their 
lower surfaces, and shoot upward into tongues of flame. 
They pierced the shadows of the forest in a circle of 
diminishing brightness until swallowed up by the gloom 
of the thick woods. Long and silently he sat in worship- 
ful mood, as is the manner of Friends. He heard a dis- 
tant howl of wolves. Once he fancied that he caught 
the gleam of their eyes, as if some leaders of the pack 
had pushed daringly near the dreaded fire. He even 
thought he had a glimpse of their dark forms as they 
shrunk back into the impenetrable darkness. Then there 
arose calls of night-birds, answered by the trilling of 
tree-toads and the shrilling of insects. These died away 
into silence and began again; and again silence fell, a 
silence that could be felt! 

Joel's mind was filled with religious awe. From these 
mysteries of the woods, the natural creatures of the 
Good Father whom he worshiped, his thoughts arose 
into prayer. And then — for he was no longer a young 
man — the spell of slumber which he had been resisting, 
seized with full force upon his drowsy senses, and nod- 
ding by the camp-fire on his log-seat, he drooped his gray 
head and slept. There, by the fading firelight, in the 
dim moonlight that fell upon the open camp grounds 
and the shimmering stream, the old, weary sentinel 
slept ! 

There was a rush out of the forest of many feet. He 
felt it, rather than heard it. He sprang up half-waking. 
"Were the wolves upon him? Ay, Joel, human 



2SS QUAKER BEN 

wolves ! " Three Indian warriors held him in their 
grasp. 

He struggled to free himself. He had no purpose of 
fighting, but the natural instinct to repel restraint as- 
serted itself. He was a stalwart man with muscles 
seasoned by toil, and his half -unconscious action flung 
from him one of his assailants who chanced to fall into 
the fire. The other braves instantly pinioned Joel's 
arms, and just as he lifted up his voice to cry an alarm, 
a hand was thrust across his mouth. 

Then from the fire's edge leaped Cross-eye, for it was 
he who had been thrown down, and irritated by the 
smarting burns, and yet more by the mocking laugh of 
his comrades, he thrust his scalping knife into Joel's 
heart with a vicious white man's curse : " You be still 
now! Hey?" 

Joel sank upon the ground, and while life was still 
quivering in the murdered man's frame, his scalp was 
torn from his head and hung reeking at his assassin's 
belt. The two warriors dragged him from the fire's 
edge, and as they laid him down, heard his last word — 
** Rest ! " His meditations, his visions, his dreams were 
over. Perhaps we had better say in the spirit of his own 
strong faith, they had simply been lost in sight. At 
least, he had " entered into rest." 

Two-tongues' alert senses had caught the first sounds 
of the attack, and creeping under the rear of his tent, 
he crawled snake-like into the darkness, and disappeared. 
Andy heard Joel's smothered cry, and seizing his rifle, 
. rushed out of Father Owen's quarters, to be felled by a 
blow of a war-club from one of a band of Indians who 
surrounded the tent. His arms and ankles were pinioned 
with deerskin thongs, and he was carried, still uncon- 
scious, to a young oak tree and lashed thereto. 

When he came to his senses, he tried to take in the 
situation. His limbs were numb from suppressed cir- 
culation, and pained him sorely. The tightness of the 
cords cut into the flesh. His head, too, ached from the 



DIABOLONIANS 259 

blow upon his forehead, and the blood that trickled from 
the wound had congealed on his face. But the brave 
lad cared little for his own hurts. His anxiety was for 
his mistress. 

That was for the present relieved as he turned his 
eyes toward Dorothy's "White Wigwam." The front 
flap was open, and a warrior watched before it. Within, 
he had a view of Dorothy kneeling in silent prayer upon 
the bear-skin rug which had been her couch. Her back 
was turned toward the open door. She wore the plain 
Quaker dress in which she had lain down, and a gray 
shawl was spread across her shoulders. In his own 
apartment, just visible, Father Owen was seated upon 
a camp-stool. His head was covered with his broad- 
brim hat, and his pocket Bible was open in one hand. 

Relieved thus from immediate anxiety for those in 
whose fate he was most deeply concerned, Andy turned 
to consider his own case. The tree to which he was 
tied was well to one side of the camp and barely within 
the faintest circle of the fire's light. Just beside him 
lay a dead form. It was covered by a blanket, out of 
respect, no doubt, for Dorothy's sensibilities, or out of 
dread of her indignant rebuke. Who could it be? Not 
Two-tongues — he wore moccasins; and the feet (barely 
exposed), were shod with stout shoes. Not Louper 
Jan. He had not been seen since he went off fishing, 
(as he said) ; and Andy could well account for him. 
It must be Joel ! 

The shock which he felt at the sudden death of this 
good and harmless man, was great; and although he 
was not particularly superstitious on such matters, yet 
this gruesome figure lying so near to him, there in the 
lonely woods, made him feel uncomfortable. Moreover, 
from the fact that the Indians had not spared Joel, he 
argued ill for Father Owen and Dorothy, and that his 
own fate would not be a gentle one. Had he been kept 
for the slow torture of the stake? Well, the wretched 
Diabolonians should not have the satisfaction of 



26o QUAKER BEN 

winning a groan from him, let them do their worst! 

Several Indians were stretched out asleep around the 
fire, feet to the coals, wrapped in their blankets. At a 
little distance therefrom a smaller fire had been kindled, 
and before it two warriors were seated conversing in low 
tones. One was Cross-eye. The other he did not recog- 
nize, but as his dress and port indicated a chieftain, he 
inferred that one and perhaps more of the head men 
of the village had joined in the attack. 

Ere long this Indian came to the tree, and began ex- 
amining the thongs by which the prisoner was secured. 
Andy was suffering so much that he appealed for some 
relief. 

"Can't you loosen up the cords a bit?" he asked, 
speaking in the Delaware language. " The men who 
tied me have quite overdone the job. The thongs are 
cutting the flesh, and stopping the blood. A looser tie 
will bind as fast; and surely youVe nought to gain by 
causing me useless pain." 

The Indian's response was most unexpected. He 
smote Andy a smart blow on the cheek with the palm 
of his hand, and spat in his face ! 

" You red-headed devil ! " he fairly hissed in Eng- 
lish, and in tones that he once recognized as Louper 
Jan's, "I give you back one of your own proverbs, 
* fast bind, fast find!' If I could tighten the cords, I 
surely would do so rather than loosen them. Do you 
begin to squeal a'ready? We've just begun with you! 
You'll have some reason to howl before we're done with 
you." 

"Oh! it's you, is it?" Andy replied. "I might 'a 
knowed no Indian 'ud be mane enough for sich doin's! 
You traitor, you murderer, you betrayer of your own 
people, you treecherous plotter with savages to debauch 
and ruin your sainted mistress! No wonder you cover 
your shame beneath Indian dress and paint. You miser- 
able, degraded Diabolonian! You're far warse nor a 
savage at heart ; an' no white man'U iver again own ye 1 



DIABOLONIANS 261 

Just loose me for five minutes, and put a weapon in 
my hand, an' boy as I am, I'll fight ye, and send 
your cowardly saul back to your true father, the 
Devil!" 

For a moment, beneath this torrent of denunciation, 
the Louper stood grinding his teeth in rage. He drew 
his scalping-knife ; then thrust it back, and turning 
sharply from Andy walked to where Cross-eye sat. 

"He's fast enough!" he said. "He'll keep till to- 
morrow, and then — But I'm off now, I've kept my 
promise; have I not? Well, now I trust you to keep 
yours." He plunged into the dark forest and was soon 
lost to sight. 

Cross-eye kept his lone watch for half an hour, and 
then made the round of the camp. He exchanged a few 
words with the sentinel before Dorothy's tent, and satis- 
fied that all was right returned to his place, lay down 
by the fire and slept. 

The keen excitement of his anger, had for a moment 
caused Andy to forget his pain. But as his wrath 
cooled, his sufferings returned. The night had worn 
on to two hours past midnight. A cricket chirped on 
the ground so close to him that he was startled. Was 
it mere fancy? Or did he hear a well-known signal? 
He waited, eagerly intent to note if the sound were re- 
peated. 

"Crr-rr-eek! Ker-eek!" 

There it was again! So like the cricket's chirp that 
any ear might be deceived; yet with that slight artifi- 
cial inflection which marked it as a chosen signal. It 
must be Fox- foot! Andy answered the call, repeating 
it in a key so low as to be heard only a few yards beyond 
him. He waited until he could count fifteen, and the 
note was again sounded, very softly, and just beside him. 
Yes ; his friend had come ! 

Hark! A voice is whispering in his ear: 

" Hist ! I here, just behind tree. Make no move. I 
cut thongs. Stand still till you get over be numb. Then 



262 QUAKER BEN 

creep to woods after me. I leave knife at foot of tree. 
Rifle and tomahawk in woods." 

Now an arm was reached from behind the tree, and 
swiftly and silently the cords on his wrists and ankles 
were cut. The arm disappeared, and presently Andy 
saw Fox-foot's form gliding like a shadow and as quietly 
over the ground. Kind Heaven, what relief! He stood 
motionless while the blood came tingling along its veins, 
causing a pain of its own — sharp enough, but how 
different ! 

Cross-eye moved restlessly in his sleep, but did not 
waken. The sentinel before Dorothy's tent seemed to be 
dozing. The warriors around the camp-fire lay like logs. 

Then Andy slowly shrank to the earth, thrust the knife 
into his belt, and began to worm his way noiselessly 
into the background. A dry twig crackled beneath him. 

To his sharp-edged senses it seemed like a rifle's crack. 
He stopped, and hugged the ground closely. No one 
stirred in the camp. He pushed on, and reached the 
deeply shaded space, where Fox- foot met him and put 
a rifle into his hand. 

" Come," he said. " I got safe den pretty well 
hardby. We go there first. Let your feet fall softly 
as the moonlight." 

A short walk brought them to the foot of a ridge 
that rose sharply from the strip of clear bottom-land 
on the farther end of which was the camp. On the 
river-side the water washed the rocky base of the ridge. 

" Off with shoes ! " said Fox- foot. " We wade here ; 
get to cave pretty well so ; and throw pursuers off trail, 
if they follow. They think mebbe we ford stream here. 
They get pretty well big fool ! Hah ? " He had some- 
where picked up the phrase "pretty well," which so 
pleased him that he made it do duty often as his ad- 
jective and adverb of special emphasis. 

Shoes and moccasins were doffed, and with scarcely 
a sound of splashing the two youths marched along the 
ridge's base in the shallow water until Fox- foot gave 



DIABOLONIANS 263 

the signal to land. A few minutes' climbing brought 
them to the summit, which was crowned with a great 
jutting rock. 

From where this protruded from the earth a narrow 
shelf or rim had been left, or formed by the rain and 
frost. Along this shelf. Fox-foot slowly shuffled, hold- 
ing the while to shrubs that were rooted in the crevices 
of the rock above, and with chest pressed closely against 
the surface. It was delicate work, especially in the scant 
moonlight, and required steady nerves and cool head. 
Andy with his wounded brow and aching limbs was in 
ill shape for such a trial; but having first pushed over 
his knife and rifle to his comrade, he made the passage 
successfully. 

He found himself in a small cave which had been 
fitted up with sundry rude conveniences for a secret 
bivouac. A real paradise that for an Indian boy, or for 
any normal boy,^ in sooth ! 

" This my fort ! " said Fox- foot, looking around with 
pride and pleasure in his friend's surprise and admira- 
tion. " We safe here. I found 'im two years ago, when 
my people sent me out, all myself by, to find my * Wy- 
ya-kin.' I found 'im, too! The Fox-spirit sooke me; 
so I was named ' Fox- foot.' No one knows cave yet, 
I pretty well sure. Here two men defend selves days 
against a tribe. And here now powder an' bullets 
Queen Esther sent you. She rode Paxton to raise band 
riflemen for you rescue. If white men have pretty well 
go as Queen Esther, they now on way. But this bad 
business " — pointing toward the camp — " for Dela- 
wares ! Tribe not in this, you be sure. Band bad men 
with Louper Jan chief, have done! But we all be 
blamed, and may have to suffer pretty well. I not for- 
sake my tribe; but I cleave to my white brother till he 
pretty well safe, and help Mourning Dove and Snowy- 
hair all I can. But you must tell Queen Esther and her 
braves how it is. The blame pretty well with one their 
own color — not poor Delawares ! " 



264 QUAKER BEN 

" That I will, truly I " Andy replied with great cordi- 
ality. Then he told what he knew about the attack, and 
the Louper's part in it. Fox-foot in turn related how, 
having done his errand, he hastened back, and coming 
upon the encampment, reconnoitered, and was amazed 
to find how things stood. 

"And see!" he said, pointing to the knife in Andy's 
belt, " beautiful present your good Aunt gave me ! And 
with it I cut your bonds ! See ? " 

Now Fox-foot took Andy to one side of the pro- 
jecting shelf, where an opening through the embowering 
trees and shrubs gave a view of both river and camp. 
Across the stretch of level mead dimly lighted by the 
half-moon, the two lads could see the camp-fires and 
tents. Even while they gazed, Andy's escape seemed to 
be discovered. Cross-eye's manner, as he stood in angry 
colloquy with the sentinel before the tent; the stir among 
the warriors as they were aroused; the conference around 
Cross-eye who took the lead of the band, all could be 
seen as the figures came into the strong light of the 
camp-fire. 

Then the group broke up, and scattered in various direc- 
tions, seeking traces of the fugitive's trail. But so many 
footsteps, trodden to and fro without attempt at conceal- 
ment or thought of hostile surroundings, criss-crossed the 
little plain, that such efforts were of small worth. 

The searchers, therefore, were recalled, and returned 
one by one. Again they surrounded Cross-eye and ap- 
peared to report their failure. Presently they once more 
scattered abroad, several into the forest, the rest by two 
canoes, of which one went up, the other down the stream. 

But now Andy began to feel the eflfects of the heavy 
blow, the torment of his lashings to the tree, the long 
strain of anxiety and loss of sleep and many exposures, 
and was compelled to lie down. He had washed his 
wound and face in the river as he came through it to the 
cave, and Fox-foot had attempted some rough dressings 
with softened slippery elm bark. But he was parched 



DIABOLONIANS 265 

with fever, and suddenly felt as if his strength had left 
him. 

Fox-foot slipped along the shelf and returned with a 
canteen of water from a spring that issued from the ridge 
below the summit. This was refreshing to Andy who 
soon fell into a troubled sleep. He tossed his limbs rest- 
lessly. He wandered in his speech. He broke into fierce 
denunciations of Louper Jan, and started up half awake. 

Fox-foot soothed him into quiet again. But now he 
was shivering. His friend covered him with a bear-skin, 
and still he was cold. Plainly, it was a case of " fever 
and ague," " chills,'* " river fever," the *' malarial 
fever," however called, so well known as a scourge of 
the frontiers. Fox-foot marked the symptoms with a 
heavy heart, wondering how he should care for his white 
brother there in that secluded spot, and how he could get 
him out should this illness continue? 

When at last Andy's chills were abated, he fell into 
a quiet sleep, and Fox- foot went to his " peep-hole " in 
the front of the cave to look out upon the camp. He 
could hardly stay the cry of amazement that rose to his 
lips. The camp was forsaken! Snowy-hair and the 
Mourning Dove were gone from the tent! The front 
flap was wide open, and by the firelight he could see 
the form of the Indian sentinel who had been left as the 
sole guardian of the two peaceful prisoners, lying on the 
ground before it, bound hand and foot. He had thought 
him dead, at first, but perceived the truth when he saw 
the man squirm and roll upon the ground in efforts to 
unloose himself. 

What could it mean? Had there been a rescue? 
Had Queen Esther and her riflemen come and safely 
taken away the Mourning Dove and Snowy-hair? Or 
had there been some new plot of the Louper? Had he 
come in the absence of Cross-eye and his party, and car- 
ried off the prisoners? He hoped for the best, but 
feared the worst. At all events he would not tell Andy 
until he should be better. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 

The Indian sentinel before Dorothy's tent started up 
as he heard the heavy tread of rushing feet from the 
wood hardby. He raised his rifle. It was too late. A 
blow from a battle-ax felled him. A powerful man in 
a British officer's undress uniform swiftly drew strong 
cords around his arms and tied them. 

The canvas door of Dorothy's apartment was closed, 
for she had lain down to rest. But she heard the blow 
and the brief scuffle, and then the voice of Father Owen 
crying out in tones broken by surprise and joy : 

" Benjamin, my son, my son ! Is it thee? " 

" It is I, indeed. Father Owen ! And thank God, I 
have come in time. But we have not a moment to spare 
for explanation. Haste to your horse. Saddle and 
bridle him. I will join you in a moment to prepare 
Dorothy's. Mine is in the woods. Where is Doro- 
thy?" 

His question was answered instantly, and in a most 
unexpected way. The flap of the tent was pushed aside, 
and with a glad cry Dorothy ran out and flung herself 
upon Ben-Thee's bosom. During the excitements of the 
past days, she had borne herself heroically, almost 
stoically. For the sake of the cause, for her father's 
sake, even for her own sake (for she knew how to win 
the respect of the red men), she had kept up. All tears, 
all signs of weakness were suppressed. But in the shock 
of this great surprise she lost the grip upon her nerves. 
Her womanly nature sw^t all else aside in the sudden 
onrush of sentiment, and she sobbed aloud as she leaned 
on that broad breast : 



HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 267 

"O my love — O my brother!" she cried. "Thee 
has come ! " In that moment of uncontrollable emotion 
the hidden secret of her life had broken forth! 

Ben-Thee pressed her to his heart, and bent his head 
and kissed her brow. Emotions long and quietly gather- 
ing, like the waters of a mountain lake, were let loose 
and surged through his heart. 

" This is the sweetest moment life ever brought me! " 
he said. " But dearest Dorothy, we must not wait. 
Prepare at once to fly. We cannot expect to be long 
free from your captors, as we are now. I must finish 
binding this man. Our own safety requires that. I 
spare his life for thy sake. Then I will join Father 
Owen and thee at the horses, and we will fly together." 

He held her from him, and gazed fondly upon her 
face. He kissed her forehead, her cheeks, her lips — 
passionately, rapturously. Then he released hen 

Dorothy's cheeks were burning with blushes. What 
had she done? Oh, that unmaidenly revelation! Yet, 
there was a look of intense happiness, of ecstatic joy 
upon her face that for years had not been there. She 
was loved — loved as a maid — no sisterly subterfuge! 
— loved by the man she had loved from childhood ! O 
sweet life! It is worth living now! 

She ran into the tent and donned a riding hood and 
a gray shawl, and in a moment was out again. 

" I am ready — at once — now ! " she cried. " I will 
run to father, and help him. We will not lose a min- 
ute ! " And away she sped, joyous as the first sunburst 
from a summer sunrise cloud. 

The Indian watchman was not dead. The force of 
Ben-Thee's blow had been broken by the rifle which he 
had thrown up to ward it off. But he was stunned, and 
lay still while his legs were bound together, and the cords 
upon his arms were secured. This done, Ben-Thee 
joined Dorothy and learned in response to his inquiry, 
of Andy's mysterious escape and the excitement it had 
caused. 



268 QUAKER BEN 

" Then we can go with lighter hearts ! " quoth he. 
He lifted Dorothy to her seat. Father Owen was al- 
ready mounted. Both had the choice horses they had 
ridden from Philadelphia. They followed to the place 
where Ben-Thee's " Nelly " was picketed, and then away 
the trio rode in the early dawning, pushing their horses 
as fast as the trail would allow, making a straight course 
for Harris's Ferry. For three hours they kept up their 
pace, during which time they exchanged the stories of 
their lives since their last meeting. 

"Father Owen," said Ben-Thee, in one of their in- 
tervals of silence, " I ask thee, should we be spared from 
this adventure, that I may have Dorothy for my wife? " 

The old man, startled by this sudden proposal, turned 
his face backward, for he rode a little in front of the 
young couple, and checked his horse's pace. " Did I 
understand thee aright? Thee asks Dorothy to wife?" 

"Yea and verily! With all my heart I mean it. 
Thee will not deny me ? " 

" And thou, my daughter, what sayest thou ? " 

The maid replied in a voice so low that it scarcely 
reached beyond her father's ears, and trembled with emo- 
tion. "It is my wish, father, if it please thee." 

"It pleases me, indeed; though I could wish that 
Benjamin were of our faith and way. I have long sus- 
pected that thine affections were fixed upon him. But his 
fancy for Rhoda Reagan was so decided, that — " 

"Oh, that is long past!" Ben-Thee interrupted. 
" Buried beyond even a thought of resurrection. Do not 
let that trouble thee a moment. I did not know my own 
heart then. Two years' absence amid the terrible scenes 
of the Spanish campaign, have disclosed the deep, true 
love that lay beneath the fancy of a few month's growth 
— a fancy as impossible to realize as it was immature. 
I know myself now. I love Dorothy — not as a foster- 
brother — but as a man may love a maid ! And I will 
never be content until she is my wife I " He pressed his 
horse to her side and took her hand. 




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HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 269 

I 

" May Heaven bless thee both, my children ! " was 
Father Owen's reply. His voice trembled. His eyes 
were moist with tears. He removed his broad-brimmed 
hat, and bowed his head in prayer, as though by this sim- 
ple act to give solemn sanction to this strange betrothal, 
there in the deep wilderness, while fleeing for their lives. 
And truly their lives hung in the balance, as presently 
was made clear to them. 



An hour after the White Wigwam had been vacated 
by the Owens, Fox- foot was again at his "peep-hole," 
looking out upon the camp. Andy was better. His 
chill had been followed by a free perspiration, and that 
by a sound sleep. He lay breathing quietly so that his 
friend could leave him safely. What is it that he sees 
as he looks out upon the camp? 

A white man in a frontiersman's dress advances from 
the river bank where he has left his canoe. He looks 
around him, seemingly in great surprise. He sinks to 
the earth, and crawls forward cautiously. He appears 
to suspect some trick — an ambush perhaps. Now he 
sees the sentinel, and creeps to his side. There is a brief 
conversation, and he springs to his feet. The full light 
of the camp-fire falls upon him. It is Louper Jan! 

He cuts the Indian's cords and the man rises. Soon 
the pair are joined by Cross-eye and four other warriors 
who had gone down the river in a canoe to scout for 
Andy. There is a hurried colloquy. Then a rush to 
where the horses are picketed. The Louper, Cross-eye 
and three of the braves mount and ride away hot haste on 
the broad trail left by the Owen Party. Ah, Ben-Thee, 
that was indeed a serious error, to leave those horses 
bunched and picketed there, instead of turning them loose 
and whipping them into the woods! The two men left 
to watch the property, sit down by the fire and smoke 
their pipes, while the day slowly breaks, and Fox- foot 



270 QUAKER BEN 

goes back to lie down by Andy's side and catch a few 
moments' sleep. 

♦ 4c 4e ♦ ♦ 4c 4e 

Esther Harris, who was a famous horse-woman, 
mounted and rode away, spreading as she went the news 
of an Indian attack upon white men, including her 
nephew Andy. At Paxton, she saw the minister, Mr. 
Elder — afterward commissioned a colonel, and known 
as " the fighting parson," — who promised to assemble a 
company and march to the relief. 

Back she galloped to her own house and store, and the 
first person she met was her niece's husband, Ensign Bur- 
beck! He stood at the upping-block to take her horse 
as she rode up. 

" Arthur Burbeck, as I live ! " she exclaimed, and 
grasping his hand. " Welcome home ! I never ex- 
pected to see you again. But are you well? You look 
peaked enough for a sick man ! " 

"It's myself, sure enough. Aunt Esther!" Arthur re- 
plied, "Or at laste, as much of me as the wretched 
Spanish Main an' the tormentin' an' tossin' say have left 
of me; for I'm nighamost frazled out, I allow. But I'll 
soon pick up on home fare and home air." 

" When did you reach the colonies ? " 

" We landed in Philadelphia a week ago ; and as soon 
as we could get certain matters relating to the company 
and the men's pay and discharges put right, the Captain 
and I got horses and left for the backwoods. I was 
longin' to see my family; and the Captain, when he 
h'ard of Father Owen and Miss Dorothy 'a-bein' out 
among the Indians, was bent on visitin' 'em afore he 
went home to the Cumberland Valley." 

" Well, I do hope you're done now wi' your daunderin' 
over creation, and are ready to settle down and stay 
settled. It's full time for that; for it's fair true that a 
rollin' stone'll gather no moss." 

"Ay, auntie, I'm well inclined to settle, and daunder 
no more! But as to that old rollin' stone you throw up 



HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 271 

at me, I never could see what good the moss 'ud 'a done 
it, anyhow ! I've no ambition to be a sluggish old moss- 
back! But there's no settlin' jist now, 'tanny rate; for 
the first thing I h'ard after I'd greeted Kate, was the 
bad news from Andy. And I'm come to Tarn what luck 
you've had at Paxton, and then I'm off to look after my 
boy. The Captain's gone a'ready — gone his lone, too ! 
He stopped barely long enough to change his horse for 
his big mare Nelly that Kate and Andy had kept over 
for him. There was no holdin' him back when he 
I'arned that Dorothy Owen was in trouble with the 
Indians. An' I'm jist waitin' to hear from you, and get 
a few good men to join me, when I aim to follow Cap- 
tain Ben-Thee." 

Further talk was stopped by the coming of an Indian 
runner, who glided up to them, and announced his pres- 
ence to Mrs. Esther. It was the Mohican, Two-tongues. 

" You bring news ? " Mrs. Harris asked. 

" I bring news ! " was the reply. 

** It is bad news, I dare say. But speak out, and let 
us know the worst I " 

" It is bad news ! " the interpreter answered. And he 
told briefly the story of the attack on the Owen camp, 
the death of Joel, the captivity of Snowy-hair and 
Mourning Dove, and the wounding and binding of 
Andy. After that incident he had hastened to bring 
word to Queen Esther. 

" Who are in the raid ? " asked Mrs. Harris. " Has 
the whole tribe risen ? " 

" No. Delawares are quiet. Only Louper Jan and a 
few bad Indians." 

" What will be done with the boy Andy ! " 

Two-tongues shook his head. " No tell that ! The 
Louper hate Standing-hair. It look bad for him." 

" Well, come into the store. I have something for 
you." She took him inside; gave him an ample present; 
learned all the particulars of which he was possessed, and 
bade him return at once and scout around the camp, and 



27Z QUAKER BEN 

await her coming with such news as he could pick up. 

Thence she passed into the house, took down her rifle, 

which she could shoot as well as most borderers, and 

came out to Arthur. 

" I am ready," she said. " Go, get your horse and 

come on." 

" Won't you wait for the Paxton men ? " 

" No. They'll follow. My son John and two good 

frontiersmen are here at the store and will join us. 

That's enough. We'll all be mounted. Tell Kate to fill 

your haversack. They're putting up a snack for the rest 

of us in the store. It will be ready by the time you get 

back." 

if if % ili i^ if % 

We return to Ben-Thee and the Owens. The ex- 
hilaration that had come with the sudden climax of two 
hidden loves; the stimulus of their interchange of 
thought and news after such long separation, and their 
increased confidence in the growing hope of escape from 
probable pursuers, were at once beclouded by an accident 
to Dorothy's horse. While passing through a rough 
piece of woods, a forefoot was thrust into a small but 
deep sink hole, and he stumbled forward. Dorothy was 
thrown, but fortunately had released her foot from the 
stirrup, and came to the ground with only slight injury. 
Ben-Thee was at her side in a moment. 

" I am all right ! " she said. " Look out for poor 
Salem! I fear he is badly hurt." 

And that unfortunately was true ; his leg was broken. 
There was nothing to do but go on without him. Ben- 
Thee's pistol gave the " mercy stroke " while his mistress 
hid her face and wept, and Salem's carcass was left in 
the wilderness. Dorothy's saddle was transferred to 
Nelly's broad back; and the party pushed on, Ben-Thee 
afoot. 

" Should the need arise," he laughingly remarked, as 
he lifted her to her place, " I will mount behind thee, 
and ride on, for Nelly can well carry double." But 



HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 273 

much time was thus lost. Their progress was greatly 
retarded; especially as in Ben-Thee's two years abroad 
and at sea, he had lost much of his spring and endurance 
as a. footman gained in frontier life. 

As the morning wore on, the signs of a coming storm 
rapidly multiplied. Masses of dark clouds rose up 
from behind the western mountains, and scudded across 
the sky. The air grew thick and heavy. Occasional 
blasts of wind, as though they were the scouts and 
vanguards of the mighty coming tempest, swept before 
them dry leaves and light surface litter, or carried them 
forward whirling in little eddies. 

" It is well to shun the woods in a storm," said 
Ben-Thee. " There is a bit of high ground yonder that 
is quite clear of timber. Let us make for that." 

As they rode out of the forest and ascended the open 
hill beyond, Ben-Thee turned to look at the thickening 
clouds behind them. His eyes fell upon a more appall- 
ing sight. A group of horsemen galloped across a 
level mead by the river, toward the belt of woods out of 
which they had just come! They were Indians — no! 
One was a white man; and they were in pursuit of 
themselves ! 

Could it be Louper Jan and his Indians? It must 
be so. And hark! They have seen and recognized 
their party; for a yell of triumph is borne to them on 
the driving wind. Father Owen and Dorothy heard it, 
and gazed with blanched faces toward the coming band. 
Too well they knew what fate awaited them should they 
be overtaken! 

" Father Owen," said Ben-Thee, " there is one chance 
for us. I remember that about two miles ahead, 
straight along this river ridge is a white settler's log 
cabin. Ride forward with Dorothy — ride at your ut- 
most speed! Warn the people of the coming Indians. 
Claim their protection. Bid them from me to call 
in all stragglers, to secure the cabin and prepare to de- 
fend themselves, though they will do that without bid- 



274 QUAKER BEN 

ding, you may be sure. I will take my chances on foot 
and in the forest, and can delay the pursuit long enough 
to make your escape sure." 

" And leave thee alone, and at their mercy ? " Ex- 
claimed Father Owen. " Nay, Benjamin ; we will bide 
with thee and share thy fate ! " 

"That is folly! Thee will not fight. Dorothy can- 
not. Does thee not see that thee will avail nothing by 
staying, and only make it worse for me? Alone and 
on foot I can do something. With thee and Dorothy to 
hamper me, we are all sure to perish." 

" Father," said Dorothy, " thee must do as Benjamin 
bids. In his hands under Heaven, our lives now rest. 
Ride forward. Haste thee! Warn the unprotected 
settlers, and save their lives. Thee may do that, at least ! 
I will stay with Benjamin to persuade him to mount 
Nelly, even as he said, and we two will escape together 
after thee. O my father, do not delay!" 

Thus importuned. Father Owen galloped away. 

" Come, Benjamin I " Dorothy entreated, " the mare is 
strong. She carries double well, thee said. She will 
bear us both to safety. Mount at once, I beseech thee! " 

" My own love ! " he said, " it is hard to refuse thee 
aught. But listen! I must kill some of these men or 
they will kill us. Look! Yonder is Louper Jan, the 
infamous wretch who follows thee — thou knowest for 
what ! He rides at their head. He will soon be within 
rifle shot. I must stop him ! " 

"O my Benjamin! It is hard. But it is written, 
' Thou shalt not kill.' * Vengeance is mine,' saith the 
Lord. Leave him in the hands of Gk)d ! " As she spoke 
a spent bullet dropped almost at Ben-Thee's feet. 

" So I will. But at least I must stop this ride and 
this shooting. It is getting perilously close." He 
raised his rifle and fired. The Louper's horse fell and 
rolled with its rider on the ground. 

" O Benjamin ! I cannot bear to see thee take life like 
this!" 



HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 275 

" It IS their life, or thine and mine. I do not 
scruple to choose the former. But if thee would not 
see, ride forward. I will overtake thee soon." 

His reloaded rifle was already poised when a shot 
from the horsemen on the mead struck Dorothy, and 
with a cry of pain her bridle arm dropped to her side. 
Almost as an echo the crack of Ben-Thee's rifle rang 
out and the foremost Indian, who had fired the shot, 
fell from his seat. The others halted. The Louper who 
was already on his feet, but little hurt, seized the horse's 
bridle as the rider rolled to the ground, and leaped into 
the empty seat. 

" Forward, my braves ! " he cried, " we will come back 
for our comrade! See! the w^hite warrior flees. We 
are sure of him now ! Forward ! " And forward again 
they dashed with wild whoops of vengeance. 

Meanwhile, Ben-Thee had run to Dorothy. 

" You are hit ! " he cried. 

" Yes. It is my arm. It pains me, and it bleeds. 
But it cannot be serious." 

Ben-Thee drew a large silk handkerchief from his shirt 
collar, and wrapping it tightly around the wound, fas- 
tened the ends. " Can thee bear it for a while ? " he 
asked. " Thee must try. For we must get out of this 
at once." He mounted upon the mare's broad back, 
took the reins with one hand, and with the other clasped 
around Dorothy's waist to hold her to her seat, if need 
be, urged Nelly to her utmost speed. 

The large and powerful creature responded to her 
owner's call as though she knew what depended upon 
her service. Beyond the hill upon which they had stood 
there rose another and much higher one. Up this 
height the good horse bore them; but she was well 
blowed and her pace lagged as Ben-Thee halted at the 
summit. She had been overfed and underworked by 
her keepers! 

The trail over which they had come was in view 
from this point; and Ben-Thee's heart sank within him 



276 QUAKER BEN 

as looking back he saw that his pursuers had gained 
upon them. And Nelly could do no better! He must 
appeal to the rifle again; for that he had kept slung 
across his back. 

He dismounted. He lifted Dorothy from her saddle 
and led her to a seat upon a large fallen log on the 
side of the trail. Then he looked to the priming of 
his rifle. But now the progress of the storm, which in 
their absorbed attention to their personal safety had 
hardly been noted, alarmed him. A mass of clouds had 
gathered in the northwest, growing thicker and blacker 
and wider until it filled the heavens almost to the zenith. 
The occasional trees around the open on which they 
stood, were swaying and whipping their tops. Flights 
of leaves and loose twigs and dry brush were driving 
before the blast, sailing high up in the air, skurrying 
along the ground, and at times bombarding their per- 
sons unpleasantly. 

Suddenly there seemed to issue from the very bosom 
of the black belt a segment of clouds torn and tossed 
and whirled about with inconceivable violence. It was 
as if all the forces of the air were in deadly conflict 
there in that riven segment of clouds. Soon it had taken 
the shape of an immense inverted cone whose apex 
touched the ground, whirling around and around and 
sweeping forward with incredible velocity. Its frayed 
edges gleamed with light. 

On it came, directly toward them. No! Some 
mighty force has bent it from its course. It strikes the 
edge of the belt of the woods into which Louper Jan 
and his Indians have just entered. The roar of its awful 
voice drowns the war-whoops they had raised in con- 
^fidence that their victims are surely within their grasp. 
So fierce and eager were their passions that they had 
given scant heed to this terrible Creature of the Clouds 
and the Wind. But it is on their track! 

With a sound like the cry of ten thousand warring 
wild beasts, it struck the woods. Great trees were 



HOW NATURE AIDED PROVIDENCE 277 

snapped from their trunks as if they were straws, and 
heaped upon one another in vast win'rows. Huge 
limbs were wrested from trunks and caught up into the 
awful vortex, and whirled around, battering down what- 
ever they smote, or were, hurled afar off and dropped, as 
the tornado sped upon its rolling course. On, on, over 
the ridge it rushed on its path of desolation. 

Ben-Thee and Dorothy gazed spell-bound upon the 
terrific scene. Its very aw fulness fascinated them. 
Only the far tumultuous verge of the whirlwind had 
touched them, but even that was dreadful to experience. 
The air was full of drifting forest debris. The roar- 
ing and moaning, and howling and shrieking stunned 
them. The mare trembled with fright, and coming up 
to her master, pushed her head against him. Dorothy 
flew to Ben-Thee, and clung to him with her unhurt right 
arm. 

" O Benjamin, my love ! " she cried. " We shall at 
least have the joy of dying together, and by the hands 
of God and not of wicked men ! " 

"No, dearest, look — look! We shall live together. 
See what the Lord and the tempest have wrought for 
us!" 

He pointed to the strip of forest along the base of the 
river hill out of which they had so lately come, and 
into which Louper and his band had just entered. A 
broad open lane lay through it, wherein, piled upon one 
another, like wheat stalks in the swath of a grain field, 
the fallen trees marked the tornado's path. Not a tree 
was left standing in its course. Their pursuers were 
nowhere to be seen. Horses and men lay crushed be- 
neath the fallen trees, or beaten lifeless by the wind ! 



CHAPTER XXIX 

A QUAKER CAPTAIN MEETS A SEA-ROVER 

" I have a letter for a Lieutenant Robin More," said 
Chaplain Henry to Agnes Oster on the day after his 
arrival from Cartagena. "Do you happen to know of 
such a person, and could you give me his address ? " 

Agnes nodded toward Grace Owen, and with a mis- 
chievous glance and smile remarked : " This lady could 
probably inform you; and indeed might be willing to 
deliver the letter in person/' 

Whereat the Chaplain took the letter from his wallet, 
and would have handed it to Grace. But that lady, 
deeply blushing, refused to act as his post-carrier; and 
recommended him to apply at the office of the inn where 
he had put up, as the gentleman he sought was lodged 
there. 

Thus it happened that Robin received from his father 
sooner than expected, the answer to his letter inform- 
ing him of the great change which had been wrought in 
his views and character. It was short and sharp, and 
in substance disowned him as a son. 

" Had you gone into the Church of Scotland," it 
declared, " in which you were baptized and reared, or 
into one of its American branches, I would not have 
had a word to say. That sort of religion could not do a 
sailor much harm. But for you to unite with the thee- 
and-thouing, non-combatant Quakers with no more 
vigorous blood in them than in earth-worms, and no 
more fighting grit than a sheep, is too much to endure ! 
I have no further use for such a man on shipboard or 
elsewhere. You have blighted all my high hopes for the 
future by joining a sect despised by all sensible people 



A MEETING 279 

outside of Philadelphia; a sect that for all its boasted 
humility, is the most self-opinionated and stiff-necked 
under the sun ; whose pride it is to differ from everybody 
else. 

" Well, you have made your bed, and now you must 
lie in it! You have left your father for the Quakers; 
now look to Quakers for countenance and support ! As 
an officer of the * Heather,' you are entitled to a certain 
amount of money from the government. I therefore 
enclose an order for one hundred pounds, which Mr. 
Angus Reagan will honor on presentation. Should 
there be more due you — which is not likely — in the 
way of prize money or otherwise, I will see that it is 
forwarded to you. I do not wish you ill; though you 
have treated your father so ill in acting in a matter 
of such importance without consulting him, and doing 
what you must have known would put an impassable 
barrier between us. But it is done, and there is an 
end of it, as this letter requires no answer, and I wish 
none.'* 

This communication bitterly grieved Robin, although 
not wholly unexpected. Yet he would not admit to him- 
self that this was " the end of it " ; for he still hoped, 
as he daily prayed, that one whom he so loved, and 
to whom he was so greatly indebted, would yet see his 
son's conduct in its true light, and that a reconciliation 
would follow. 

He informed the Owens briefly of his father's action, 
sparing them the reading of the letter, however, and 
putting his act in the mildest light, by dwelling upon the 
liberal remittance, which he felt sure his father had ad- 
vanced from private funds. Before he sailed, he went 
down to Chester to see Mother Bell. More than ever 
now, he felt alone in the world, and turned to the house 
of this good woman as his home. Leaving her a gener- 
ous sum in advance payment for his rooms, he bade 
her good-by. 

It was a fair October day when the new brig the 



28o QUAKER BEN 

" Quaker Lady," left Dock Creek, and with favoring tide 
and wind dropped down the Delaware. As the vessel 
was bound for Jamaica, the course was southward after 
leaving the Capes. 

Once out upon the broad sea, the men were mustered 
aft. There were twenty-fiv^ of them besides the officers, 
a large crew for a simple merchant vessel. While de- 
scending the Delaware, many had been the conjectures 
and comments upon the character and capacity of their 
Captain, and how, in such stirring times, they were likely 
to fare under a Quaker skipper, even though, as it was 
well understood, he and the vessel owners were not prin- 
cipled against fighting in defensive warfare. When the 
mate had mustered the men aft. Captain More appeared 
in a trim suit of plain dark gray, with naval officer's 
coat, trousers and cap! That was surprise number one. 

" Men," he said, ** you have wondered, perhaps, that 
a merchant vessel should sail, as we do, with more 
men than really needed to work the ship. It was so 
decided by owners in view of the pending war. They 
are Friends, as I am. They reprobate war, as I do, 
though I long served on a ship of war. Yet we all differ 
so far from other Friends as to believe it our right 
and duty to defend life and property from those who 
would wrest them from us by violence. Under such 
conditions, and under no other, we feel free to fight. 
Therefore, this vessel is fitted out with guns for defense. 
As these would be worthless without training in their 
use, I have divided the men into gun crews, which shall 
be arranged finally as experience shall suggest; and we 
will at once begin regular practice. In case of emer- 
gency small arms will also be served to you." That 
was surprise number two. 

*' Moreover," the Captain continued, "jackets, 
trousers and caps of a uniform color and cut, will be 
issued at once to all hands. These will be served without 
cost to the crew, but you will be held responsible for 
reasonable care of them. You all know that the vessel's 



A MEETING 281 

safety and our own lives depend upon the eflBciency of 
the crew, officers and seamen alike. As I expect you 
all to do your full duty, I promise to the best of my 
ability to direct and lead you in the same; and I ask 
and shall look for your cordial obedience and support." 

The men answered by a cheer for the " Quaker 
Lady " and her Captain. The new uniforms were at 
once issued, and as they were neat and becoming, and 
were a gift to the men, they were donned with satis- 
faction and even pride. 

It is a true saying that dress does not make the man. 
But it certainly does nourish manly self-respect; and in 
the case of organized men, a uniform dress gives a feel- 
ing of oneness that contributes to the sodality of the 
organization, and so to the efficiency of its movements. 
Thus it happened, at least, to the crew of the " Quaker 
Lady." 

Now came the first gun drill, and the zest with which 
the men took to it was quickened by rewards which the 
Captain offered for those who should prove most apt in 
handling the guns, and for the most skillful marksmen. 
The gun drill was conducted at first by Robin himself; 
and the men soon found that their Quaker skipper was 
(to quote their own phrase) "no slouch at the brass 
long nines." Or, as one of them put it: "Our Cap- 
tain and owners may be Quakers, but the Spanish dons 
who may chance to meet the * Quaker Lady ' in action 
will find that these big barkers are anything but * Quaker 
guns.' " 

When the gun crews had had sufficient drilling in the 
management of their pieces, and temporary gun captains 
and gunners had been selected, Robin gave them a lesson 
in shooting. Several hogsheads and boxes were lashed 
together, and cast adrift as a target. There was a deal 
of bad shooting, as might be expected of beginners, and 
the target was not once struck. 

" Cheer up, lads ! " said Robin. " You'll improve with 
practice; and if you imagine yon target to be a vessel 



282 QUAKER BEN 

of our own size, you will find that your shots have 
not all gone wild." 

" That's just it, your honor ! " said one of the gunners, 
touching his cap. " I doubt if there's a man afloat, 
much less greenies like us, that could hit a mark like 
that!" 

" Well, my hearties," Robin replied, " it may not be 
fair to ask you to do what I'm not willing to do myself. 
So let me try a shot ! " 

By this time the target had drifted well to leeward 
and showed but dimly as it bobbed up and down upon 
the waves. But Robin carefully sighted the piece, and its 
discharge was followed by a cheer from the ship's crew, 
who had gathered on deck and were eagerly watching 
the exercise. The target had been blown to pieces! 

After that, their esteem for their Captain, and their 
confidence in their ability to take care of themselves while 
sailing Spanish waters, were greatly increased. How- 
ever, Robin lost no opportunity to impress upon them 
the fact that it was only for the actual defense of life 
and property that he would ask them to risk their lives 
in action, or would use their services to destroy the lives 
and property of others. 

The voyage proceeded without an3rthing more exciting 
than the big-gun practice. Both officers and crew noted 
the daily improvement in the discipline of the men in 
managing the ship, in ordinary seamanship, and in special 
drills for engagement with an enemy, handling the guns, 
repelling boarders, manning the boats for assault, etc. 
The weather was delightfully serene, and the sea smooth. 
The season for tropical storms or tornadoes was about 
over, according to the old sailors' rhymed calendar for 
their prevalence in those parts : 



July — stand by ! 
August — look out you must ! 
September — remember! 
October — all over. 



A MEETING 283 

The course through the Bahamas and around the 
eastern coast of Cuba was a rare continuous pleasure. 
Passing the island of San Salvador, all hands were at 
the taffrail to see the first bit of land that Columbus 
saw when he " discovered America," and gave to Spain 
the passport and the key to the Western hemisphere. In 
these halcyon days the forecastle and deck, especially in 
the early evening, resounded with the songs and merry- 
making of the light-hearted sailors. And this, Robin not 
only permitted but enjoyed, because he liked to see his 
men happy, and believed that their happiness contributed 
to their general efficiency in duty. 

One fine morning after the " Quaker Lady " had 
rounded Cape Maysi, and was making the Windward 
Passage between Cuba and St. Domingo with the course 
set straight for Jamaica, the lookout man on the main 
mast announced a sail in sight, off the Cuban coast 
and bearing down upon them. Soon all was animation 
aboard, for this was the region where they were liable 
to meet Spanish cruisers at any time. As the vessels 
neared one another, the British flag displayed by the 
" Quaker Lady " was answered by the stranger with 
the Spanish colors. 

" She's a fighting ship. Captain," said First-officer 
Munro, a Scotchman and an experienced sailor, who had 
been master's mate on the " Heather " during a cruise 
with Robin. " She is heavily armed and manned," he 
continued, keeping his glasses fixed upon the approach- 
ing enemy, " and out-classes us somewhat in every way, 
I judge. But — I think — we may venture to tackle her, 
sir, if you are willing to help us with your gunnery." 

" If the worst comes to the worst," was Robin's re- 
ply, " we must try it. But not until we have done our 
best to escape. Crowd on all sail that she will bear, Mr. 
Munro, and keep out of the Spaniard's way if you can." 

The men had already run to quarters without waiting 
to be piped thereto, and showed scant alacrity in mount- 
ing to the rigging to put on more sail. They were 



284 QUAKER BEN 

eager for " a brush with the Dons," and being confident 
of their ability to beat a vessel so near their own caliber 
as the stranger seemed to be, did not relish running away 
from her. It was soon seen, however, that the " Quaker 
Lady" was no match for the Spaniard in speed, and 
would be overtaken. And now, as she came within good 
fighting distance, she fired upon the " Quaker Lady," and 
hauling down the Spanish colors sent up a black flag 
blazoned with a skull and cross-bones. 

" A pirate 1 " cried Robin, startled by the sight. " Call 
the men to quarters, Mr. Munro ! " 

The sailors hurried from aloft. The men flocked to 
their stations. The guns were uncovered and cast loose. 
Robin sent to his cabin for his sword and buckled it 
on. Coming forward, he briefly addressed the crew. 

" Men," he said, " though I would fain have avoided 
a conflict, it is now inevitable. We cannot escape it, 
if we would; and since that black flag has been flung 
out, I am not sure that I would escape it, if I could. 
Yonder pirate is an enemy of mankind. His hand is 
against every man. The only law he recognizes is that 
of superior force ; and to that we must appeal. We will 
fight to-day to rid the seas of a scourge, assured that we 
shall have the approbation of the whole world for a just 
and necessary act. Besides, we must fight for our lives. 
We can hope for no mercy from men who dare sail and 
fight under such a flag as that. Let us look up to God 
for His blessing upon our work ! " 

Robin removed his cap and stood for a moment bowed 
in silent prayer. The crew uncovered and stood at their 
stations in sympathetic silence. It was a striking scene ! 
The quiet was broken by the boom of the pirate's gun 
and the crash of a ball against the hull; but not a man 
moved until the Captain put on his cap and cried: 
" Now, lads, let us to our duty with a will ! " 

He advanced to the crews of the long nines, pointed 
each piece separately, and gave the word to fire! The 
first shot struck the enemy's mainmast fairly ; the second 



A MEETING 285 

shattered it badly, and the third and fourth, which 
quickly followed, sent it down and to the vessel's side, 
giving the pirate's axmen a busy job to clear away the 
wreck. 

" Now for the foremast, lads ! " said Robin. And 
sure enough, the next two rounds brought the foremast 
down. Whereat the crew, surprised and delighted by 
such remarkable gunnery, gave vent to their feelings in 
wild cheers. 

" Well, my hearties," Robin remarked, surveying the 
result of his skill with much satisfaction, " we've spoiled 
her chances for catching us when we run away from her. 
But to show that we have no special spite against their 
standing gear, let us heave them a shot or two amid- 
ships." 

Then he sighted his guns for the hull. The first shot 
blew two of the midship ports into one; and the next 
entered the opening and went boring through the hull, 
shattering all before it. 

" By the ghost of Billy Penn ! " said the boatswain, 
" he'll sink the pirate before he gets a shot at us." 

But the prophecy was premature, for the pirate's 
gunners now began to get their distance. One of the 
long nines was dismounted, and several of its crew were 
carried wounded to the cockpit, and one man was killed 
by a flying splinter. The Captain also received a severe 
flesh wound on the leg from a splinter. But refusing 
to retire, he had the surgeon hastily bind up his wound 
on deck, and sent him back to care for the hurt sea- 
men. 

When Robin fell, a wail of sorrow ran through the 
ship at the news that he was killed! But when he was 
seen limping to the remaining big gun and directing its 
discharge, the depressing report thus contradicted gave 
occasion for another rousing cheer. The next shot from 
the " Quaker Lady " made a big hole below the pirate's 
water line; and thereupon Robin left the piece for the 
gunners to manage themselves, and had a hammock 



286 QUAKER BEN 

spread on deck, in which he reclined, while directing the 
movements of the crew, 

" There're getting out their boats ! *' said Lieutenant 
Munro. " I believe they mean to try to carry our ship 
by assault." 

" The greater fools they ! " was Robin's comment. 
" Man the carronades and give them grape and cannister 
as they approach. Our men will never allow them to 
board us. See that the muskets and cutlasses are dis- 
tributed." As these had already been brought up from 
below, the seamen were soon armed and ready to sup- 
port the carronade gun crews should they come to close 
quarters. 

Two boats were soon sunk. As the survivors strug- 
gled in the water, even though they were Spaniards 
and pirates, the kind-hearted sailors pitied them, and 
when the Captain gave order to lower the ship's boats 
and save all they could, they sprang to the merciful 
task with alacrity. Soon the boats were darting here 
and there over the sunny waves, picking up the living 
with as much zest as they had shown but a little while 
before in destroying them. 

Their efforts were misunderstood. The men of the 
pirate's crew could not take in the fact that these Anglo- 
Americans were on an errand of mercy, but expected to 
be slaughtered in the water ! They alternately sputtered 
out shrieks for mercy, and attempted to placate their 
victors by broken cries of " viva los Americanos ! " 

" Poor souls ! " sighed Boatswain Bolls, who com- 
manded the cutter ; " I could have seen the whole bloody 
gang gibbeted without a qualm. But this is too much 
for me — to see human beings perishing like drowning 
rats ! " Thereat he turned the tiller over to a seaman, 
and fished out of the sea with a boat-hook a Spaniard 
wounded iflihe head. 

Only one boat succeeded in reaching the side of the 
" Quaker Lady." That had pulled up under the stern, 
and its crew, reduced to six or eight men, began to call 



A MEETING 287 

lustily for " quarter," not in the Spanish tongue, but in 
English, with a twang of New England colonial thereto! 

" Don't shoot, lads ! We surrender ! " the coxswain 
called, as some of the " Quaker Lady's " crew showed 
themselves with pointed muskets. " Here's our First 
Luff in the boat with a bad wound an' bleedin' to death, 
I reckon. Can't you haul him up ? " 

" Yes, yes! " answered Robin himself. " Pull around 
to the steps and climb up yourselves, and we'll help your 
officer aboard." The prisoners climbed the ladder and 
were disarmed. Then the wounded officer was lifted 
up carefully and laid on deck. 

" Send for the surgeon or his assistant ! " Robin di- 
rected, as the man was laid down. At the sound of his 
voice, the pirate lifted his head and looked around. 
Then in the blood-stained, pallid and pain-stricken face 
of this broken piece of humanity, Robin recognized the 
features of Lieutenant Ruel Braun, the former First 
Officer of the '^ Heather!" 

The recognition was mutual. " Oh, it is you, is it, 
curse you ! I might have known there was no man afloat 
but you who could have made such gun work as has done 
for us. May the devil take you for it ! " 

By this time the surgeon had come, and after a brief 
examination said that the case was hopeless. " My good 
fellow," he remarked quietly, " if you have any prayers 
to offer, you had better send them in quite the opposite 
quarter from the person you have just called upon. I 
advise you to save your breath and spare your energy, 
for you'll need it all if you're to have any chance for 
recovery." 

" None of your cursed preaching. Doctor ! I know it's 
all up with me! I shall be in h — 1 — if there is such a 
place, and my old grandfather believed there is — be- 
fore sunset. And my only regret is that I can't take 
with me yon canting, puritanical Captain of yours! I 
hate him ! I have long hated him ! And I will hate him 
forever! That's one satisfaction in going whither I'm 



288 QUAKER BEN 

bound — I can hate him all I want, and hate him through 
all eternity!" 

"Let him be carried below," was Robin's only com- 
ment, " and be cared for as if he were one of our own 
crew!" 

These kind words called forth a fresh outbreak of 
angry objurgation. Braun was taken below, and all was 
done for him that could be done. But before sunset he 
died in great agony, uttering curses with his last breath. 
Even the most hardened of the sailors were horrified at 
the fact of such malicious blasphemy upon the lips of 
a dying man. 

Robin was greatly stirred by this incident, but the 
duties of bis position left him little time for vain regrets 
over a perverted and demonized life. The decks were 
cleared from the disagreeable and destructive effects of 
battle. The boat crews returned with all whom they 
could pick up from the sea. Two boats had made off 
from the shattered vessel, carrying the Captain and such 
of the crew as had stayed on board, to the coast of Cuba, 
a couple of miles or more distant. 

Then Robin, accompanied by the boatswain and the 
ship's carpenter, went aboard the abandoned pirate to 
examine its condition, and to see if it were worth an 
effort to save, and take with them to Jamaica. It was 
decided to make the trial, as outside the rather serious 
gun-shot damages, the brig was in excellent condition, 
and her injuries could be repaired and the craft made 
over as good as new. The carpenter and a prize crew 
were therefore put on board under Mr. Munro's com- 
mand and the work of repair was begun at once. 

Jury masts were rigged, and the two brigs sailed in 
company to Port Royal, Jamaica, without further inci- 
dent. There the captive ship was sold to the govern- 
ment on good terms, and turned into the service for the 
fag end of the Expedition against the Spanish Main. 
Thus captain and crew had a taste of prize money — 
though Robin turned over his share to the men — and 



A MEETING 289 

there was enough besides to repay the owners of the 
" Quaker Lady " for the cost of repairing the damages 
wrought in the fight. 

The new vessel began its career as an English war 
ship under the name of the " Sure Shot," in honor of 
Robin's gunnery by which she had been won from the 
enemy. The command of her was offered to Robin by 
Admiral Vernon, who was highly gratified by the ac- 
counts of his conduct during the engagement, as related 
by the officers and men of the " Quaker Lady." In- 
deed, the whole fleet was soon advised of the facts, and 
as such picturesque acts of gallantry and skill had not 
been lately as frequent as usual in the navy, Robin More 
became quite a popular hero. 

He disposed of his cargo on advantageous terms, and 
laid in a return cargo there and at the Barbados, which 
in the end proved highly satisfactory to the owners, and 
made his first voyage a marked financial success. 

Eight or ten of Robin's prisoners were Americans and 
Englishmen who had been subjected to cruel treatment 
in prison to compel them to purchase release by enlist- 
ing in the Spanish navy. These had tfeen forced against 
their wills to serve in the ship when it had been turned 
into a freebooter by the machinations of Ruel Braun, a 
deserter from the English fleet, whose naval skill had 
at once advanced him to an officer's place. These 
prisoners were readily taken into an English frigate. A% 
the yellow fever had greatly weakened the fleet and able- 
bodied seamen were much needed, the Spanish sailors 
were also finally enlisted at their request. 



CHAPTER XXX 

MR. REAGAN HAS A VISITOR 

One morning in the autumn of 1742, a gentleman 
stopped at the door of Mr. Angus Reagan's law offices. 
When the porter appeared in response to the vigorous 
thumping of the big brass knocker, he was handed a 
playing card, the ace of diamonds, on the back of which 
was written the name, " Captain Alexander More." 
There was no discourtesy in this act, for in the great 
dearth in the colonies of proper paper for visiting cards, 
such substitutes were occasionally resorted to from sheer 
necessity. 

The visitor had tarried but a moment in the little wait- 
ing room adjoining the private office, when the lawyer 
entered alertly, with his card in hand. In truth, Mr. 
Reagan had something more than a current professional 
curiosity in the quality of this client and the nature of 
his business. For several years Captain More had been 
a client, though the lawyer never had seen him. He 
had transacted business involving considerable sums of 
money, always by correspondence or an intermediary. 
Thus far his mysterious client had withheld himself, as 
though by set purpose, from all situations that would be 
likely to involve a personal meeting. 

This had stimulated Mr. Reagan's curiosity- as to 
Captain More, and when his striking though not wholly 
unusual visiting card was placed in his hand, he felt 
peculiar satisfaction ; and with accelerated pace advanced 
from his office desk to the waiting room. As the door 
opened, and his visitor rose to greet him, the whole 
aspect of the lawyer's countenance and person changed. 
It was transformed to one of intense surprise, which as 



A VISITOR 291 

suddenly yielded to an expression of delight. He rushed 
forward with outstretched hand. 

" Sandy Cameron, man! can this be you? " he cried. 

" None else, Wallace Guthrie, my old schoolmate and 
chum ! " was the' reply. 

The two men stood with clasped hands, gazing into 
each other's eyes. 

Then, " Come into the office, man, come in ! " Mr. 
Reagan exclaimed, and fairly drew his visitor into the 
private room, 

" Let me look at you again," he said, " that I may be 
sure it is you ! Yes, it is indeed Sandy Cameron, my old 
college-mate and partner in mischief, my fellow in exile 
and bondage ! " 

Again the two men wrung each other's hands with 
fervor. Then they sat down and looked at each other. 
Mr. Reagan — for we will not take up the abandoned 
name of Wallace Guthrie — broke the silence. 

"And to think that you, Aleck Cameron, are my 
mysterious client, Captain Alexander More! And all 
this time you have succeeded in concealing your identity, 
and in fooling me to the top of your bent! But what 
possessed you to do that ? " 

" In truth, Wallie," was the answer, " I had no very 
special reason; unless it was to respect your own in- 
cognito, and maybe keep you out of trouble. It was 
at first rather an accident than intentional. And then 
I kept up the play from one of those unaccountable 
fancies that sometimes move men to do odd things. I 
was hard put to it at times to dodge you on the streets 
and in the inns and public places of Philadelphia. And 
now, I am come to let the cat out of the bag, to have a 
long talk, a full settlement, and to say farewell. For I'm 
off to Scotland in a day or two for good and all." 

Mr. Reagan rose and lifting from a large iron-bound 
chest a tin box labeled " Captain More's papers," took 
therefrom a bundle of documents. " Here are your ac- 
counts and the various writings sent to me," he said. 



292 QUAKER BEN 

" Kept like a lawyer ! " exclaimed Captain More. 

" Ay ; or like a sailor ! " Mr. Reagan replied, nodding 
toward the big chest. 

" If you'd been as curious as you're careful," con- 
tinued the Captain, "you might have found out my 
secret from those papers; for it's all written out fully 
there." 

" True, but these were sent to me as private papers, 
with instructions that they were not to be opened or made 
public except in case of your death. I hope I have a 
little more conscience now, even if less curiosity, than 
in the days of our youth at the University of Auld 
Reekie. But come! before we take up these business 
affairs, let me hear your story. I have never heard a 
word from or of you since you left the Cumberland 
Valley under the fear that our old Maryland master 
was on your track. We all supposed that you and your 
family had been killed by the Indians, or fallen victims 
to fevers or accidents of some sort on the far frontier." 

" So be it ! " said Captain More. " A short horse is 
soon curried, you know. My yarn will soon be spun, 
for it's a scant skein. We pushed from the Cumberland 
into the extreme western parts of Pennsylvania, and I 
settled with my wife and the adopted Hannan boy in 
Washington County. With my usual facility in get- 
ting into trouble with the government, I fell in with a 
man who was turning western grain into Monongahela 
whisky, and was skipping the revenue officer's charges. 

" I found I could make a living in this, and something 
more. The business suited me, for I was not skilled in 
farming and had no handicraft, and was a stranger in a 
strange country with a dependent family. Besides, I 
confess that I had a sort of pleasure in beating out of its 
revenue a government against which I had a grudge." 

" A wrong and dangerous sentiment, of course," inter- 
jected Mr. Reagan, " but a lot of human nature in it ! " 

"Well, that was my case, anyhow; and I've kept at 
it a good part of my life, I'm sorry to say. But my 



A VISITOR 293 

Washington County business was interrupted in a little 
over a year by the death of my wife. She was as affec- 
tionate and loyal a mate as ever man had, though without 
much polish or education except that of the American 
branch of our old Scotch Kirk, of which she was a de- 
vout adherent And that mightily uplifted her character 
and softened her manners." 

" Aye, aye ! " muttered the lawyer. " Our Churches, 
of one sort and another — and all have done good work ! 
— have saved civilization as well as religion and educa- 
tion in these colonies. I remember your wife as a 
bonnie young bride." 

" Indeed, yes," the Captain continued, " and as good 
as bonnie! I had no idea how I loved her, and how 
much she was to me, until I lost her! Of course, I was 
left with the lad to rear, and with as little ability and 
taste for such a task, I reckon, as any man ever had. 
Just then, an old sea captain turned up with a scheme 
to come East, and buy or build a sailing craft of some 
kind, and go into trade, meaning smuggling spirits as 
well as freighting cargoes. 

"This suited the party with whom I was engaged, 
and he agreed to go into the enterprise, and put up the 
bulk of the money for it, provided I would join in and 
take charge. I joined in, and back I swung to the East. 
We stopped at Chester, where my sea captain was well 
known; and there, first of all, I found an excellent widow 
woman, Mrs. Naomi Bell, who agreed to take charge of 
my boy Robin. We soon had possession of a tidy craft, 
and as business was lively in the colony, we had a good 
trade at once, legal trade I mean. But the smuggling 
came in gradually and easily; and you would be sur- 
prised — probably — were I to tell you how many and 
what sort of people shared in it, one way or another! 
Oh, I'm not the only scapegoat, by a long way ! 

" Our far west partner kept up his end of the busi- 
ness vigorously, and his Monongahela whisky came in 
pack-trains across the mountains to be run into all the 



294 QUAKER BEN 

ports of the colonies and the West Indies. Indeed, we 
put one cargo into dear old Scotland herself, under the 
very noses of some of the officers who sent us off to 
America. But it's poor business, Wallie, poor business 
at the best! It's not comfortable to live at war with 
organized society, in conflict with the officers of the law, 
and an outcast from the respectable elements of a com- 
munity. I never cared much for the personal danger 
to myself, for I'm not a coward by nature; and there 
was a sort of pleasure in the excitement of adventure 
and antagonism. But it went sore against me to have 
to defend myself and goods often at the peril to life 
and limb of poor honest fellows who were simply doing 
their duty. Well, that's about all the story, except that 
in the course of time the business all fell into my hand. 
I bought the * Heather,' and the rest you know. 

" My boy, Robin, who was a bright and affectionate 
lad, grew up to be a fine fellow, with a great turn for 
the sea, and a natural genius for navigation. But he 
never took to the smuggling business, and I reckon he's 
a better man than his dad. It's about him that I've 
called to-day. 

" I am going back to Scotland. I have come into my 
own there. The old affair has been settled up and con- 
doned, and I am free to return. I am going back to be a 
good citizen, an exemplary landlord, a supporter of 
Church and State, a bulwark of society, and all that! 
And I reckon I'll wind up as a portly and red-faced 
magistrate, * venerated and mourned by a wide circle 
of respectable friends.' There are some things that I 
want you to arrange for me before I go. But first, 
about your own history? I have picked up part of it, 
and guessed at the rest. But I wish to hear the true 
story from you." So Mr. Reagan related it, as already 
known to the reader. 

"And the little girl whom you adopted — Robin's 
sister? How about her?" the Captain asked. 

"Rhoda? Ah! She is no longer a little girl. She 



A VISITOR 295 

has grown up as handsome a quean as one would care 
to see. She knows nothing of her real name and kin. 
And I do not care to have her know, as yet. I love her 
as my own child ; and she will inherit all I have " — 

" A tidy sum, I dare say ! " quoth the Captain. 

" Fair ! " replied the lawyer. " It might be more ; but 
she'll not be on the parish, at any rate. And she de- 
serves it all She's a comely lass; and (as you said of 
your wife), as good as she's bonny, and as canny as 
she's good; and as loving and devoted to me as she's 
canny. Oh, she's a rare lass, Sandy! and Old 
Scotia, God bless her! never reared a bonnier or a bet- 
ter. I took pains to look up the pedigree of her parents 
through one of my Irish correspondents. They come of 
good, substantial Scotch and Scotch-Irish stock. In fact 
they are far-away cousins of my own family, the Guth- 
ries, and coUeagued with them in some of their wild 
Covenanter enterprises. And, oddly enough, the mother 
was a Cameron, and her blood may be crossed with your 
own." 

" Queer, that ; sure ! " ejaculated Captain More. " It's 
strange how things do turn out in this life, at times! " 

" It does seem strange about this Hannan family, at 
all events. One is inclined to suspect that a Higher 
Power than human has shaped their destinies. There 
were three of them left helpless and friendless orphans ; 
waifs in this wild new world. Yet somehow, though 
widely scattered and roughly tossed about, they've all 
turned out well. The oldest boy was taken by a fine old 
Quaker named Owen, and has grown up to be a strong 
and noble character. He commanded one of our Penn- 
sylvania companies during the Spanish war, and has 
lately returned — one of the few fortunate ones — and 
has gone back to his farm in the Cumberland Valley, 
not far from where you and I started in." 

"Captain Owen, did you say?" said Captain More. 
" I met him at Cartagena. A splendid fellow, and a 
great favorite; though a queer kind of a Quaker! He 



296 QUAKER BEN 

appears to be a fighting character, and was in at least 
one duel that I heard of. For he and Robin were great 
friends, and Robin acted as second for him. And to 
think- that, all unbeknownst, they were brothers ! That 
is truly a queer fling of fate ! And they are all ignorant 
of their relationship? " 

"All; as yet!" 

" Well, I came to talk with you about Robin. Have 
you heard of his absurd fancy in turning Quaker? " 

" Yes ; it made quite a sensation here ; particularly in 
Friends' families; and that means our best ones." 

" Then maybe you heard about my part in the affair ? " 

" Not a word. Except that Rhoda told me — having 
heard it through the Owens — that you strongly disap- 
proved of his act, but had been very liberal with Robin, 
and had sent him £ioo." 

" ' Strongly disapproved ' is good. I should say so ! 
Why, I wrote a scorching letter disowning him as a son ! 
In short, I fear I made a fool of myself, for I was fell 
wrothy with the lad for going into a sect that I have 
always despised. Though, I dare say, I may be wrong 
there, too! I thought it would be the ruination of the 
fellow and of all my plans for him. I was blazing 
angry, and I wrote hotly. 

" But I did Robin injustice, I doubt ! He came down 
to Jamaica with a merchantman, and on the way behaved 
so handsomely that the whole Expedition was ringing 
with his praise. He tackled a Spanish pirate ship, cap- 
tured it and brought it into Jamaica, where he sold it to 
the government. His officers and men told great stories 
of his coolness, courage, and marvelous gunnery. The 
Admiral offered him the command of the new ship, 
which he declined, saying that he would not block the 
promotion of worthier men. But I reckon his new re- 
ligion had something to do with it. However, it made 
him mighty popular with the fleet officers, all the same. 
Since we reached Philadelphia, I have heard from many 
of my old acquaintances of his noble behavior during 



A VISITOR 297 

the yellow fever epidemic, and that I count a braver deed 
than fighting pirates. All this has set me a-thinking; 
and I have concluded that I made a mistake. The lad 
has not been spoiled by his Quakerism ; and I have con- 
cluded to undo the damage I have done. That is what 
I'm here for ! What do you think of it ? " 

"There's only one thing to think and to say. You 
have come to yourself, and I'm glad of it. Your prej- 
udice against Quakers is perhaps not to be wondered 
at, considering your life and education. But my inti- 
mate knowledge of them, for many years, has led me to 
esteem them highly for their work's sake. I say noth- 
ing about their peculiar tenets ; but of their pure, benevo- 
lent and upright lives I have been a witness. And if 
your boy turns out, as I am sure he will, for he has the 
ground work in him, as good a man as some of the 
Friends I know, you will have no cause to regret his 
change of profession. Indeed, I suspect that a bit of the 
same kind of religion might be as good for the father 
as for the son — for my wayward old chum Sandy, as 
for my gallant young friend Robin ! " 

This aroused Captain More. "What, I a Quaker?" 
he exclaimed. "No, sir! Confound Quakers and all 
Sectaries, including Anglican Bishops and the Pope ! say 
I. I'm a true blue Presbyterian, I would have you 
know — Westminster Confession, Shorter Catechism and 
all the rest. True-blue — genuine color, deep-dyed in 
the wool and fixed; warranted not to wash out or fade. 
No, no; thank you! No Quaker for me, personally. 
It's quite enough for me to be reconciled to Robin's try- 
ing it. Maybe he'll tire of it, by and by, and come back 
into the true fold ! " 

" I fancy he's a fixture now. There'll be no coming 
back as long as Grace Owen lives, at least." 

" Oho ! " exclaimed the Captain. " I thought there 
was a woman behind it all ! And I must know what sort 
of a woman she is." 

" Excuse me, Sandy ! " the lawyer rejoined. " There's 



298 QUAKER BEN 

something more than a woman behind it, if I haven't lost 
my ability to weigh testimony." 

"Hey? Something more? What can it be? Not 
money, I'm sure. Robin's not of that sort, I'd pledge my 
life/' 

" No, not money 1 " said Mr. Reagan. " You're right 
there. But come, Sandy! You're no infidel, even 
though you are a Scotch Presbyterian, and can swear 
like a King Charles's trooper. Have you forgotten your 
Bible story about Saul of Tarsus, and who met him, and 
what happened to him on the way to Damascus ? " 

" Oh, ay ; I mind it bravely ! " the Captain replied. 
" Most of my Bible lamin' has slipped through the 
meshes of memory, I allow. But that story somehow 
has stuck," 

"Well, then," Mr. Reagan continued, "that is the 
Power behind Robin's conversion to Christ and Quaker- 
ism, I surely believe. Anyhow, Robin believes it, and 
is in dead earnest about it all. A word about Grace 
Owen. I was wrong in mentioning the lady's name, as 
I did, for it is a mere conjecture. But since you have 
asked, I will say that next to my own Rhoda, she is the 
comeliest and best young lady I know; and if Robin 
should succeed in winning her favor, he will be the most 
fortunate youth in the colony. But out, now, with what 
you mean to do for the lad, and let us get it into legal 
shape before I tease you into changing your mind ! " 

"All right, then. Here it is. I want to turn over 
to him at once, all right and title in the ' Heather ' on 
the sole condition that he is not to use her or allow her 
to be used for smuggling or any other unlawful purpose. 
Now cast up our accounts and let us see how much cash 
I have in your hands." 

" Here it is ; already summed up and balanced. It 
amounts to £3,964 s. 8 and d. 9." 

" And what is your fee ? " 

" Fee ? Hoogh ! " grunted the lawyer. " Juist a 
kind cast backward for auld lang syne! There'll ne'er 



A VISITOR 299 

be other fee in this office for either thee or thine ! " 

"Well, then," said the Captain, and his voice grew 
soft and tremulous, while a suspicion of a tear moistened 
his eyelids, " there's to write £250 for Rhoda Reagan 
for a wee bit giftie on her wedding-day. And while 
you're at it, just add £500 for that Grace Owen you spoke 
of, on her wedding-day, if she marries my Robin/' 

" Good for you, Sandy ! Like many another Scotch- 
man, your bark is worse nor your bite. You curse 
the Quakers, and bless them with your bountith in the 
same breath ! " 

" Now how stands the account ? " 

" That leaves a matter of £3,000 and over to dispose 
of, all here under my fist, or ready to draw upon at 
sight. Shall I turn it over to you now ? Or how shall 
I dispose of it?" 

"How shall you dispose of it? Didn't I say al- 
ready?" 

" Not yet, my worthy Captain." 

"Then, of course it all goes to Robin More along 
with the ' Heather.' " 

" And what is the value of the ' Heather? ' " 

" As she lies at the dock to-day, she is worth £3,000." 

" Then there's £6,000 and over, a snug fortune ( for 
our colony, at least), to turn over to Robin. That's no 
so bad, for a disowned son ! " 

"Well, draw up the papers right and tight, and I'll 
sign them and be done with it. I wish for the lad's sake 
that there were more of it; for I'll have enough and to 
spare without it. And just add a word that I don't feel 
quite equal to saying good-by, and all that. But I leave 
him my love and farewell. And say, please, that my 
home will always he his home in case of need ; that I'll 
expect to hear from him betimes; and if he ever wanders 
Scotland way, he'll be as welcome as the laverock at 
Craig Cameron Hall. If all that doesn't meet the situa- 
tion as seems to you fit, fix it up to suit yoursel', and 
it'll suit me." 



300 QUAKER BEN 

"It's all right, my dear old chum! You never did a 
wiser, juster or better deed; and you've done it hand- 
somely, as becomes a Cameron! Come back to luncheon 
at mid-day, and Til present you to Rhoda." 

This eventful morning was not to close without an- 
other visitor to Mr. Reagan. The burly form of the 
Captain had scarcely disappeared, rolling, in his sailor- 
fashion, down the street, ere the tall and graceful form 
of Paul Owen appeared at the office gate. With a bow 
and smile and wave of the hand to Rhoda, who was 
walking in her flower garden, he passed into the office. 

" Good morning, Paul ! I'm up to my ears in busi- 
ness just now. Yet I'm glad to see you. But I must 
ask you to be brief. To what do I owe the favor of this 
visit?" 

" I've come on another begging visit, sir." 

"Let me see! What was the last call for? The 
Friends' Alms House, was it not? Well, how much do 
you want now, and what is it for? " 

" Oh, sir ! " was Paul's reply, his voice trembling and 
his fine face flushing deeply, " I have come to ask for 
thy greatest treasure." 

"What! Rhoda?" 

" Even so, sir ! I have long loved her ; and lately not 
without some hope of a returning affection. But I have 
not presumed to make a formal proposal without her 
father's approval." 

" Well, Paul, I will not pretend that this takes me by 
surprise. I have expected something of this sort, for I 
have noticed your fondness for Rhoda, and have sus- 
pected that the maid likes you, at least. But the matter 
rests with her. I would not force her choice, and I cer- 
tainly will not oppose it, should it favor you. Yonder 
she is ! " He rose and threw up the office-window and 
looked out upon the garden where Rhoda stood bending 
over a bed of bright chrysanthemums. 

" There she is ! As sweet and lovely a maiden as ever 
brightened a father's home! Go to her, there among 




"Flowers and All!" She Softly Said 



A VISITOR 301 

her flowers. If it will ease your way, you may tell her 
that I. sent you. Ask for her hand, and if your wooing 
is successful, the matter is ended, and as you would wish 
it to be." 

" Sir, for this great consideration, I thank thee ! And 
even should it go no further, still I thank thee ! " 

Away he went with heart pounding violently and every 
nerve aquiver with hope. He pushed through the garden 
gate to where Rhoda stood by her bed of chrysanthe- 
mums, and with the eloquence of love in its utmost 
fervor, told his tale and made his plea for her hand. 

For answer, Rhoda plucked a cluster of the bright 
autumn flowers, and offered it to him. As he reached 
for them, she allowed her hand to rest a moment in his. 

"Flowers — and all!" she softly said, with downcast 
eyes, and neck and cheeks rosy with blushes. 

Paul was no dullard in matters of sentiment, though 
a plain Friend. He caught the maiden's meaning at 
once. He caught the hand, though the flowers fell to 
the ground, and kissed it again and again passionately, 
reverently. 

Then he picked up the fallen bouquet and kissed the 
flowers, too. " Henceforth," he said, " the chrysanthe- 
mum shall be my favorite flower; the beautiful reminder 
of this favored hour, and the emblem of that which is 
fondest and best in my life." 

The two walked together from the garden to the office. 
They did not enter the door, but stood outside at the low 
window that overlooked the lawn, and tapped upon the 
glass. 

When Mr. Reagan threw up the sash, there stood Paul 
and Rhoda, arm in arm, looking up to him with the joy- 
ous lovelight shining in their eyes, and irradiating their 
faces. 

" Is it settled, my daughter ? " he asked. 

For meet reply, Rhoda raised her face and offered her 
lips, which Paul fervently kissed. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

HOW ANDY GETS OUT OF HIS CAVE 

The tornado that brought such timely deliverance to 
Dorothy Owen, was followed by a great downpour of 
rain. Ben-Thee sheltered Dorothy as best he could un- 
der the lee of the huge fallen oak beneath a thick clump 
of bushes; and taking the blanket which he carried be- 
hind his saddle, wrapped her in it. Then he placed his 
own bulky body beside her as a sort of bulwark. But 
in a few moments she was drenched and uncomfortable. 
So that when the sun came out, its searching heat was 
pleasant. 

They were just preparing to mount and ride away, 
when the clatter and splash of horses trampling over the 
wet trail was heard below the summit of the hill. 

" It is our friends ! " exclaimed Ben-Thee, and uttered 
a loud " halloo ! " to signal their whereabouts, which was 
answered by a cheer. Then appeared a cavalcade headed 
by Esther Harris whose warm embrace soon encircled 
Dorothy's wet form, while Arthur Burbeck's hearty voice 
and hand clasp greeted Ben-Thee! Father Owen, too, 
had come ; for he could not rest at the pioneer's cabin, so 
great was his anxiety. 

Stories were soon exchanged. Aunt Esther's party, 
reinforced by Mr. Elder and his Paxton parishioners, 
had reached the cabin just as the rain struck it, and there 
heard from Father Owen the account of the Indian raid, 
the rescue by Ben-Thee and the pursuit. The tornado 
passed by them well to one side, bringing them only the 
downpour. They hastened forward as soon as the rain 
storm abated. 

" And here we are in good time, thank God ! " ex- 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 303 

claimed Arthur, which pious ejaculation was echoed by 
a chorus of " Amens! " 

"Where are your pursuers? Have you killed them 
all off, Captain Ben ? " asked Mrs. Harris. 

" No indeed ! " Ben-Thee replied. " A mightier War- 
rior than I came to our rescue. Our foes lie yonder " — 
pointing to the narrow strip of woods beyond them — 
" slain by and buried beneath the irresistible weapons 
hurled by the tornado." 

" That reminds me," said Dorothy, " that some of 
them may still be living. It would be a violation of 
Christian charity not to relieve them, in that case. Let 
us go down to the woods and see ! " 

When the wood was reached, the terrific force of the 
wind was seen in the manner in which the great trunks 
of the forest trees had been wrenched off from their 
stumps, and were piled up atop of one another. The 
track of the whirlwind could be traced by an open lane 
in the woods paved with these overthrown giant plants. 

On one edge of this lane stood a huge trunk several 
feet thick, through which a large limb or a young oak 
twisted from its stock, had been fairly driven, as one 
would drive a spike through a board. In its course this 
limb had struck Louper Jan upon the head and passed on 
leaving him dead upon the ground. 

Not far away from this remarkable exhibition of force 
was another equally puzzling. A tall tree still stood 
erect, but its rigid trunk was twisted from base to top 
into a cork-screw shape as one would curl a green withe 
around his finger, or coil a thin wire into a spiral around 
a lead pencil. It was such a sight as the most experi- 
enced woodmen had never seen. There were other 
freaks of the wind, strange indeed, as though the tempest 
were sporting in mere wantonness of its titanic strength. 

As for relief of the fallen Indians, no such humane 
office as Dorothy had supposed, was needed. They were 
all dead. Two of the horses were alive, one so injured 
that the "mercy stroke" was required. The other 



304 ^ QUAKER BEN 

was comparatively unhurt. A mighty trunk had been 
snapped off so far from the ground as to form a bulwark 
against which the tottering trees around had fallen, and 
thus made a sort of stall within which the poor animal 
lay, terrified and trembling, but safe. It whinnied gladly 
at the sound of human voices, and recognized its owner, 
Father Owen. A bit of ax work soon released it from 
its prison. Its rider had been swept from its back, and 
lay dead nearby. The rescued horse was a powerful but 
gentle creature, one of Joel's wagon horses, whom Doro- 
thy had often petted and fed sweet tidbits. And it was 
touching to see the big fellow make up to her, as though 
inviting her caresses, and as if he felt safer under the 
eye of his petite mistress. It was one of the bright in- 
cidents that helped to lighten the gloom of this awful 
day to the kind-hearted maiden. 

"And now/' said Arthur Burbeck, "let us set forth 
to find my boy! He's in hiding somewhere not far 
from the Owen camp, I suspect. And I hope he is safe ; 
unless these rascals whom Heaven has cut off, to save us 
the task o' doin' it, have fallen in wi' him by the way, 
which God forbid ! " 

" Amen ! " said Parson Elder. " And our party will 
go with you, and follow this adventure to the end." 

But it was deemed well that Dorothy in her wet and 
exhausted and wounded condition should not undertake 
. the journey. Father Owen also was much weakened by 
the nervous strain and physical fatigue of the last day 
or two. It was therefore arranged that the two should 
go back with the pioneer settler to his cabin and there 
remain until the party should return from their search 
after Andy. 

Ben-Thee's heart went with Dorothy, whom he fain 
would have accompanied ; but it seemed his duty to guide 
the party to the abandoned camp. Therefore he set off 
with them, after many suggestions to the maid and 
urgent instructions to the pioneer — most of them super- 
fluous! — as to her care during his absence. 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 305 

The trail left by Louper Jan and his mounted Indians 
was broad and plain, and there was little difficulty in 
following back upon it. The camp was surprised, and 
the Indians left in charge captured without a blow. The 
most skillful and persistent questioning failed to get from 
them any information about Andy. 

Up in his cave. Fox- foot kept watch for his sick friend. 
From his peep-hole he looked out from time to time and 
reported to Andy such facts as he thought he might know 
without exciting him too much. The disappearance and 
probable escape of the Owens had been told as a bit of 
cheerful news. But the outset of the Louper and his 
band had not been told. 

When Ben-Thee and the rescuers appeared upon the 
scene, Fox-foot at once took in the situation. Mrs. 
Harris he knew, and some other members of the party. 
His descriptions of the others were so vivid and accurate 
that Andy easily recognized and named them. Thus he 
learned of his father's return home. Indeed, ere long 
he heard his voice shouting his son's name in his rich 
Doric near the base of the ridge. He little suspected 
how near was the beloved object of his search, but 
fancied that the lad might have fled into the thick woods 
on the ridge, when he escaped, and might be still lurking 
there in fear of his captors. 

" Answer back ! " cried Andy, rising upon his elbow, 
and himself making an attempt at a halloo. But his 
voice died away within the cave. 

"No — not yet ! " was Fox- foot's repfy. " Better I go 
to 'ims camp and tell um fader an' all white man's 'bout 
you pretty well sick. I go now, if you well 'nough, an' 
promise true, 'pon honor, you not try get up till I back." 

Andy promised; for, in truth, he lacked both strength 
and energy to undertake anything; a wholly new experi- 
ence, which the boy, to whom sickness was unknown, 
could not understand, and knew not how to deal with. 

Fox-foot was soon crossing the little plain toward the 
camp. Already Ben-Thee had brought his company un- 



3o6 QUAKER BEN 

der something like military discipline, and sentinels had 
been stationed on each flank, since they were now in the 
heart of the Indian country. One of these saw Fox-foot 
coming and halted him with sundry rude phrases and 
threatening movements of his rifle. Fortunately Parson 
Elder was nearby, and hearing the needlessly loud and 
angry challenge, came up to the guard, who was one of 
his own parish, and quietly checked his violence. 

" Easy, McPhee ; easy, man ! Don't you see it's but a 
boy; and unarmed at that? Vigilance is right; but vio- 
lence is usually out of place, and is more apt to hinder 
than help one's purpose." Thereupon he handed his own 
rifle to the man, and advanced toward Fox-foot with a 
friendly gesture. 

Thus encouraged the boy drew near. " Ugh ! I no 
bad Indian ! " he said, speaking in a manly and dignified 
way. " That man pretty well big fool. He kill me, he 
mebbe kill Andy, too. That pretty well bad ! " 

" What do you mean ? " Mr. Elder asked. " Do you 
know where Andy is? Can you tell us anything about 
him?" 

" Yes ; Fox- foot know all ! You pretty well good 
white man, I 'speck. But Fox-foot tell no one but 
Andy's fader or the Big Chief." 

"All right! Come with me to headquarters." 

Ben-Thee and Arthur were found near Dorothy's tent, 
which had been turned over to Mrs. Harris, and Fox- 
foot's tale was soon told. It spread rapidly through the 
camp that Andy was found, and was nearby, and this 
greatly raised the spirits of the little company. 

"The lad needs nursing first of all; and that's my 
task ! " exclaimed Mrs. Harris, who was deeply moved 
by the tale; for Andy was a great favorite with her. 
" Come, boy ! What's your name ? — Ah ; Fox- foot ! 
What sort of food have you been giving Andy? " 

Fox- foot was silent, and hung his head. 

" Speak up, boy ! What have you to live on in your 
cave ? " 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 307 

" Spring water," was the answer. 

"What! Is that all you youngsters have had to eat 
for the last two or three days ? " 

" Oh, no ! I gather wild berries, too. That pretty 
well for Indian. But — " Fox- foot was again silent, 
and stood with downcast face, as though the poverty of 
diet were his fault. 

" My brother Andy too pretty well hurt to leave 'im. 
He pretty well sick in his head, too. Like — bird fly- 
ing? Hey? That wrong word, I know! " 

" He means ' flighty ' I reckon," Mr. Elder suggested. 

" Yes, that it ! His head all whirr-rr ! buzz-z ! Fox- 
foot stay with 'im to keep 'im from jump out cave. 
That down, down — dead! Pretty well bad, that! So 
Fox-foot no get out to get more better for eat by steal 
from Louper's camp. That pretty well bad, too, mebbe. 
But Indian boy could do no better." 

" God bless you, my brave, good lad ! " cried Arthur, 
whose cheeks were wet with tears. " You did very well, 
indade. A'U niver forgit your faithfulness and affection 
to my son." 

" Oh, that pretty well all right ! " Fox- foot interrupted. 
" He my brother, you know. I bound do all that." 

" Well ; and A'm bound to be your good friend 
through all your life. But you must be hungry your- 
self. Wait a wee! " He bustled off, and soon returned 
with his haversack, and fishing out a large sandwich, 
fairly forced it into the boy's hands. 

Fox-foot eyed the food ravenously, but declined to eat, 
Hungry as he most certainly was, his idea of high honor 
and chivalry forbade indulgence at that time and in that 
presence. 

" By an' by, when Andy get some eat, I too I Now, 
I plenty full berries an' roots. Indian boys used to that 
pretty well. Much-a-tankee, Andy's fader ! " 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Harris had completed preparations 
for her nursing plans — some tea, which she always car- 
ried with her, with a small pot to make it in; a few herbs 



3o8 QUAKER BEN 

which frontier experience had shown to be useful in com- 
mon diseases, and some crackers, bread and cold meat 
from the lunches prepared for her own use. 

" Lead on, now ; I'm ready ! " she said. " Arthur 
Burbeck and my son John will go with me. Come! " 

Fox-foot hesitated. 

" What's the matter, now ? '* asked Mrs. Harris impa- 
tiently. 

" Ugh I there's water to wade in," responded Fox- foot, 
" to get to cave. Queen Esther, mebbe — " He hesi- 
tated, and cast a quizzical glance at the woman's skirts. 
They were made quite short, for convenience in forest 
excursions, and her feet were covered with men's top- 
boots. But the boy evidently had high notions of what 
might be becoming in so exalted a personage as he held 
the " white queen " to be. For to him, and to many 
other Indians, she was indeed the ruling spirit of the 
Ferry Store. 

" Oh ! It's the petticoats, is it ? " queried Mrs. Esther, 
with a smile, at once catching Fox-foot's meaning. 
"Umph! I'll make shift to manage them, I warrant! 
As for the boots, they can come off, and I will go it bare- 
foot, as I've done many and many's the time. Don't 
mind me. I'll rough it with the best of ye. So come 
on ! We're losing precious time. I'd go into the river 
without petticoats as well as boots, rather than have my 
gallant Andy suffer." 

That matter of female etiquette being settled, the party 
sped away. The ridge was soon reached. Its base was 
skirted through the lipping stream without mishap to 
Madam Harris's garments, and when it came to crossing 
the narrow ledge that led into the cave, she made the 
passage as easily as any of them. She soon had a fire 
of small sticks crackling in the cave's mouth, and a pot 
of spring water bubbling for the tea, which she knew 
that Andy liked almost as well as herself. 

The meeting between Andy and his father was touch- 
ing; and although the lad was much excited by the event. 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 309 

it seemed to act as a stimulus and tonic rather than the 
reverse. The delicious odor of tea that soon filled the 
cave awoke appetite, and he ate heartily of the food 
which his aunt gave him, while he sipped the tasty bever- 
age. Highly content, happy and with heart and mind 
satisfied and peaceful, he fell into a sound sleep, from 
which he awoke greatly refreshed. 

Now came up the problem of how to get the sick lad 
out of the cave. He was too weak to cross the ledge 
by himself, and it was too narrow to allow two persons 
to pass over at once. The solution was suggested by 
Fox-foot. Young Harris was sent to the camp for a 
long rope, which, it was planned, would be tied around 
Andy's waist, leaving the long end coiled in the cave to be 
paid out by the one who held it, as the lad edged himself, 
with face to the cliff, along the ledge. Enough free 
rope was to be left at the other end to cover the length 
of the ledge. Both ends were to be held taut and firmly, 
one by Arthur in the cave, the other by John Harris out- 
side. Thus supported it was calculated that Andy could 
grope and be drawn across; and in case he should slip 
off, he could be held from falling far, and could be drawn 
back. 

Aunt Esther thought the lad would be strong enough 
to make the attempt by the next morning; and in the 
meantime the experiment was tried with Fox-foot, and 
proved successful. He even proposed to slip off, in order 
to test that feature of the plan. But his white friends 
would not permit such a venture. 

Aunt Esther and Arthur kept watch with Andy through 
the night, while John Harris and Fox-foot bivouacked 
beneath the pine-trees outside. In the morning, Andy 
awoke, feeling much stronger; and being refreshed with 
a cup of tea and a wholesome breakfast, felt ready for 
the crossing. It was made as planned. Andy was sup- 
ported down the ridge to the river, resting betimes, and 
his father and John Harris picked him up bodily and 
carried him through the stream. And so to the camp. 



•310 QUAKER BEN 

The tent was converted into a hospital for the sick 
lad, and ere long he was snugly resting upon a couch 
of pine-twigs and bear-skins, which had served Father 
Owen and Dorothy for beds. Aunt Esther was estab- 
lished as chief nurse, and every one of the rescuers as 
willing assistants, while Fox-foot hung around, happy 
and relieved at his friend's deliverance, and boy-like and 
in Indian fashion, making up for his long fast by fre- 
quent meals. The white folk made quite a hero of him 
for the manner in which he had rescued Andy from his 
captors. And that the boy seemed to enjoy, though he 
took it all with stolid dignity. 

The next morning Andy was thought not well enough 
to venture upon the journey, so it was concluded not to 
break camp until the following day. But before the 
morning had passed the company was alarmed by the re- 
port of their sentinel scout that a band of Indians was 
approaching from the north. 

Fox- foot was sent out to meet them, and returned with 
the report that the coming band numbered thirty men, all 
Delawares and wholly friendly. Nevertheless, Ben- 
Thee thought best to direct all hands to be fully armed, 
and to remain so while the Indians were around. 

The Delawares advanced, led by the Prophet Red- 
love, making signs of peace and friendship. As Two- 
tongues had been despatched to ride post-haste to 
Harris's Ferry to advise Andy's mother of his safety. 
Fox-foot acted as interpreter. 

" We have come," the Prophet began, " to assure you 
that the Delawares have no part or lot, as a tribe, in the 
violence done to Snowy Hair and the Mourning Dove. 
Indeed, we know for sure that it was one of the Owens' 
own party, a white man, who planned and carried 
through all the mischief, in conspiring with certain law- 
less red men. We are ready to punish those of our own 
nation who have been guilty. Or we will deliver them 
up to your authorities for punishment We have suf- 
fered wrongs, but we do not care to visit them upon 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 311 

innocent women and friendly old men. Nor do we wish 
to break the peace by attacks upon white men and their 
property, or by acts of violence of any sort." 

" Red-love's talk sounds fair," Ben-Thee responded. 
" And we join you in wishing for peace — though we are 
not unprepared for war. We thank you for the offer to 
take and punish the guilty persons who attacked the 
Owens, and slew one of their party and maltreated an- 
other. But they are beyond your power or ours. For 
Almighty God, the Great Spirit, has already visited upon 
them the just penalty of their crimes. They perished in 
the tornado yesterday, all but two men, who are our 
prisoners, and whom we will deal with after a fair trial. 

" But Red-love will permit me to say candidly that 
the accounts given us by Snowy Hair and the Mourning 
Dove agree in placing the real responsibility for the out- 
rage put upon them, on one higher in place than any of 
his base tribesmen, even upon the Prophet who has just 
addressed us. It was he who wrought up the tribe to 
cast out those good missionaries, who came to you in 
the spirit of love and goodness, to tell you something 
of the Gospel of Jesus, that Saviour whom they wor- 
ship and serve. 

" We wish you to know that we are not to be deceived. 
Yet we will not ask, what in justice might be done, 
that the real instigator of the first outrage upon our 
friends, which led up to all the others, should be de- 
livered up to punishment. But we hope that the Dela- 
wares themselves will take the matter up ; and that Red- 
love's own conscience will condemn him for the hot 
words which were the seeds of such a sad harvest. 
They who have power to move the people should 
always weigh their words carefully. 

"If there is any other chief or head man here pres- 
ent who wishes to speak for his tribe, we will hearken. 
But we decline to hear further from one who has treated 
our friends with such enmity, and thus brought upon 
them so much suffering and loss, and the death of one 



312 QUAKER BEN 

of their number, the maltreatment of another, and the 
wounding by a gunshot of the Mourning Dove herself." 

This plain-spoken address overwhelmed the Prophet 
with confusion, — which was shared manifestly, in spite 
of the well-known Indian powers of self-control and 
concealment of emotions — by others of the party. 
But no effort was made to resent it, and no one ventured 
to speak. A glance at the stalwart forms and stern faces 
of the white warriors, all armed to the teeth, and in 
number almost equal to themselves, checked any dis- 
position to angry retort. Moreover, they well knew 
that Ben-Thee had spoken the truth, and their sense of 
justice, crude as it may have been, added force to the 
Big White Chief's words, which put the blame upon 
the right person, and not upon all the tribe. 

A painful silence ensued, during which the two parties 
glared at one another with questioning looks, the white 
men gripping hard their rifles, and the Indians feeling 
for the handles of the hunting-knives or hatchets in 
their belts. 

The pluck and diplomacy of the only woman present 
relieved the situation, Esther Harris stalked to the side 
of Ben-Thee, carrying her trailed rifle, " Brother 
Delawares," she said, " listen to her whom you call 
Queen Esther. You have heard the truth from a brave 
warrior, who yet is not a man of blood. Meditate upon 
these words and act thereon at your leisure. Now you 
have come as friends, and as such we wish to re- 
ceive you, though you have been unfortunate in the 
choice of your spokesman. Yet for that we will not 
judge you harshly. Your prophet should have given 
you wiser counsel. But he, too, is liable to err; and no 
doubt you will discipline him as he deserves. 

" We seek no quarrel with you, and accept your tender 
of peace. And we will not let you go without such 
hospitality as we can show. But remember that we are 
here on a hurried expedition; having, in truth, come 
upon the war-path to rescue our friends, believing that 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 313 

the Delawares had risen in arms. We rejoice that it is 
not so; for your sakes, as well as our own. We bid 
you tarry while we prepare such food as we can, that 
we may eat together, and part as friends, — at least not 
in enmity." 

" Queen Esther has spoken well ! " said Ben-Thee. 
'* Let it be as she has said ! " 

Thereupon he stepped forward and offered his hand to 
a venerable Indian who stood near the Prophet. The 
old brave took it amid a chorus of approving " Ughs ! " 
from the Delawares, and an answering cheer from the 
white men led by Arthur. 

Now Mrs. Esther took charge of affairs, and soon 
pots of tea and coffee were cooking at the big camp- 
fire in camp kettles from the Owen supply. A tin vessel 
of maple sugar appeared from some hamper, and sundry 
bundles and scraps of sandwiches, sweet cakes and 
crackers, bread and cheese, were laid out on a table- 
cloth, spread upon the grass. Some of these came from 
the foresters' haversacks, and some from the abandoned 
stores which Father Owen had turned over to Ben-Thee, 
bidding him use freely whatever might be needed. 

Then the forest feast began, primitive enough in its 
serving, to be sure ! But nothing could be more civilized, 
even at a modem club banquet, than the appetite which 
it evoked, and the vigorous gusto with which it disap- 
peared. And coffee and tea, a rare treat to the Indians, 
sweetened with maple sugar, were as nectar to the 
mythical gods of classic days, to these savage red men 
and hardy frontiersmen. 

The relish of it all was mightily quickened when from 
sundry secret recesses several well-filled flasks of whisky 
appeared, and were tendered to the mistress of the feast. 
Queen Esther dumped the same into buckets out of the 
Owen store, filled with clear spring water well sweet- 
ened. Arthur assisted in mixing this decoction, which he 
dubbed " Cartagena Grog," and carried it around, serv- 
ing it out with gourds. 



314 QUAKER BEN 

How the Indians smacked their lips, and absorbed the 
contents of the gourds! The white men abstained, re- 
luctantly indeed ; but Ben-Thee and Queen Esther quietly 
passed the word to wait until the Indians were served. 
For though the amount of liquor in any one draught was 
too small unduly to excite the nerves, yet the leaders 
preferred that all their party should keep perfectly clear 
heads under the circumstances. 

After such a " royal finish to a royal feast,'' the In- 
dians departed in high good spirits, even seeming to 
have put away for the time the depressing effects of 
Ben-Thee's personal remarks anent the Prophet. He, by 
the way, had quietly disappeared, and taken the back 
trail for the Indian town at Shamokin. But his affair 
was dealt with later; and after a fashion that highly 
satisfied Captain Ben when he heard of it. 

Now one chief motive for hastening their departure 
had disappeared, the danger of attack by nearby Indians. 
So they made camp for the night, and thanks to the 
abundant material provided and abandoned by the Owens, 
most of which was left untouched by their captors, they 
all managed to rest confortably. But despite the signs 
of peace and good-will, Ben-Thee took no risks, and saw 
that steady and careful sentinels were put on gfuard. 

One of the first duties that the rescuers had considered 
after their arrival, was to pay fitting respect to the dead 
body of Joel. The first suggestion was to bury him 
where he had fallen. But Ben-Thee finally decided that 
Father Owen and Dorothy would be better satisfied if 
their old and faithful servant and friend were given 
sepulture nearer the bounds of civilization. He there- 
fore arranged to carry the corpse in the wagon to Har- 
ris's Ferry, The offer of Pastor Elder to give a grave 
in his churchyard at Paxton was accepted. The body 
was carefully wrapped in blankets, with a bear-skin 
closely lashed over all. 

On the morning following the interview with the In- 
dian delegation, a brief funeral service was held by 



ANDY'S ESCAPE 315 

Pastor Eldef. It was a picturesque scene. On one side 
towering above them, were the great trees of the primi- 
tive forest. On the other ran the creek, skirting the little 
plain, and lost at each end in the deep woods, from which 
it issued, and into whose depths again it flowed. The 
plain was bounded by the high rocky ridge, crowned with 
tall evergreens. In the center of the scene were the two 
tents, before the larger of which the minister stood, with 
the men grouped around and Mrs. Harris and Andy in- 
side. Nearby were the smouldering camp-fire ; the saddle 
horses picketed, the canvas-covered wagon which was 
to serve as a hearse, with its two horses, " Big Gray " 
whose romantic escape from death in the tornado had 
made him a sort of equine hero; and a bay gelding of al- 
most equal proportions. These two Joel had driven into 
the woods ; alas, they were now to draw his silent form 
out of the forest! These were the details of a simple, 
natural, picturesque and impressive scene. 

The short service over, the tents were struck, the camp 
baggage packed, and the cavalcade moved, Andy riding 
on the wagon-seat beside the driver. At the pioneer's 
cabin on the river hill, Father Owen and Dorothy were 
picked up, and Harris's Ferry was reached without fur- 
ther incident. Ben-Thee, instead of proceeding to his 
farm in the Cumberland Valley, concluded to escort the 
Owens to Philadelphia. 

For the present, their mission to the Indians was 
deemed as closed by the act of Providence. Driven forth 
as they had been; Dorothy wounded and suffering with 
nerve-shock; Father Owen's aged frame sorely strained; 
their domestic arrangements broken up by Joel's murder ; 
Louper Jan's treachery and Andy's sickness — all these 
were sufficient reasons for returning home, at least for 
a season of rest and consideration. To these were added 
the importunities of all their white friends on the frontier. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

ENGAGEMENT DAYS 

The arrival of the Owen party in Philadelphia wrought 
a genuine sensation, especially in Friendly circles. And 
this was greatly increased by the announcement, that 
quickly followed, of the engagement of Dorothy Owen 
and Captain Benjamin Owen Hannan. To many good 
members of the Meeting it was a mooted question, 
whether it would be permitted for Dorothy, a member 
and even a messenger of the Society, to marry " out of 
meeting " ; and whether Friend Owen, an Elder who sat 
upon the ministers' benches, could pass unrebuked for 
sanctioning such a union were points that needed con- 
sideration. The opinion was almost unanimous against 
such irregularities. 

Ben-Thee was exercised about the matter only as it af- 
fected the comfort of Dorothy and the peace of mind 
of her family; for he had the assurance of his affianced, 
that let the Meeting do what it would, she would cleave 
to him as the spouse of her heart's selection, and of the 
clear appointment of God also, as she verily believed. 
With Cupid and Conscience both on his side, therefore, 
he walked the streets of Philadelphia in a state of ex- 
altation, which was visibly uplifted by the congratula- 
tions of many friends. 

In this state he awaited philosophically the reply of 
the Monthly Meeting to the announcement sent thereto, 
declaring Dorothy's intentions of the proposed marriage, 
and her request for the Meeting's " approbation." Ben- 
Thee joined in the request in a modest note, which, while 
it said that he was. not a convinced Friend, but a mem- 
ber of a Presbyterian Communion, yet he cordially re- 



ENGAGEMENT DAYS 317 

spected the Society, and was in sympathy with many of 
its principles, and wished his intended bride to retain her 
membership in and her devotion to the Meeting. 

Before this matter was settled, another announcement 
stirred the gossips of the Quaker Societies — the an- 
nouncement of the engagement of Grace Owen and Robin 
More. As Robin had already declared his assent to 
Friends' principles and had been received into member- 
ship, the approbation of the Monthly Meeting was readily 
given. The young people "passed Meeting" with en- 
thusiastic assent; and the prayers and addresses on the 
occasion were fervent and exalted. For Grace was a 
universal favorite; and the conversion of Robin had 
drawn toward him an unusual degree of sympathy and 
interest. However, the "passing" was not without a 
discordant note; for Robin's record as a fighting sailor 
excited the conscientious scruples of some of the strictest 
Friends, who held that even defensive war was unlawful, 
and that one who had been guilty of such an offense 
ought not to be passed without rebuke. But this minority 
did not affect the result; and Overseers were appointed, 
two men Friends and two women Friends, to attend the 
wedding to see that it be conducted in accordance with 
the good order of the Society and with becoming modera- 
tion. 

The result was not so favorable in the case of Dorothy 
and Ben-Thee. The Meeting decided reluctantly that 
Friends could not approve such a marriage in faithful- 
ness to their testimony and established order. A few 
voices were raised in remonstrance. 

One speaker declared : " This marriage, as proposed, 
irnplies no violation of the true spirit of the Rules of 
Discipline and Advices, whose object is simply to guard 
young people from ill-assorted and ill-considered mar- 
riages. This union is not such. It is in every respect 
fitting, promising usefulness and happiness. The parties 
are of mature age; the parents and family in hearty 
unity. 



3i8 QUAKER BEN 

Another said : *' Although the man is not in Friends' 
membership, yet he has, in one particular of Friends' 
testimony (that in favor of plain language), borae a 
witness more constant and faithful, and under greater 
difficulties and discouragements, than many professed 
Friends. This is well known. Even his common names 
among world's people, " Quaker Ben " and " Ben-Thec " 
are proof of it. Such a testimony confirms his frank 
declaration of unity with many of the leading principles 
of Friends/' 

Still further, it was urged : " A chief purpose of the 
Society in its marriage advices is to prevent violation 
of Friends' ^ testimony in support of a free ministry ofi 
the Gospel ' by avoiding ^the assistance of a priest or 
minister in accomplishing this solemn engagement.* 
Now note," the speaker argued, "it is particularly de- 
sired by the petitioners that the marriage shall be by 
Friends' ceremony. No * hireling minister ' will be asked 
to officiate, nor will such be recognized in any. way dif- 
ferent from any other guest. Surely this is enough to 
warrant a liberal interpretation of the Society's formal 
advices — for ' advices ' alone they are ! Friends are 
left free to act as they may be moved in every case. 
There is no compulsion. That indeed would be violation 
of principles." 

The last speaker also pointed out that " the three fixed 
rules for marriage are first, 'the consent of parents in 
order to preserve harmony, peace and unity among' 
families, and to guard against hasty and improper con- 
nections.' Second, that the proposal should be laid 
before the Monthly Meeting, thus recognizing the So- 
ciety's 'watchful care over its members,' Third, the 
maintenance of testimony for a free ministry. All 
these points have been fully met in the spirit, at least, 
and in good part in the letter. It ill becomes Friends 
whose fundamental principle is the dominance of the 
spirit, and protest against subjection to the letter, to re- 
verse their testimony by refusing their approbation to the 



ENGAGEMENT DAYS 319 

proposed marriage. Here clearly is a case for a wise 
clemency and liberality in interpreting rules in accord- 
ance with a wise discretion and liberty." 

This was a strong plea, and came near carrying the 
sense of the Meeting. But the deeply-rooted conserva- 
tism and feeling of' loyalty to fixed customs, finally pre- 
vailed, and Dorothy and Ben-Thee failed to " pass 
Meeting." This decision was influenced by the rumor 
afloat of the engagement of Paul Owen and Rhoda 
Reagan. One of the Elders referred to this in animated 
language, "Here is another case of letting down the 
bars ! " he exclaimed. " Paul is one of the most prom- 
ising of our young members. His voice has often been 
heard in Meeting with solid edification and lively ap- 
probation. His name has already been brought forward 
by the * Preparative Meeting of Ministers and Elders ' 
as having a gift in the ministry worthy of recognition. 
And now he is about to take to wife a maiden who is 
a member of the Presbyterian Church, the daughter of 
a prominent elder therein. If this spirit and trend be 
not arrested, what will become of our young folk? How 
can Friends expect to keep up their testimony, if leading 
members are encouraged to violate the fixed customs? 
Would they not feel at liberty to make entangling al- 
liances with world's people, as though such conduct 
were not blameworthy? If we ourselves remove the 
ancient landmarks which our fathers set up, how can we 
keep back the rising flood of worldly conformity that is 
threatening to sweep away old and sacred traditions ? " 

In this spirit one of the Overseers *' felt a concern'*^ 
to call upon Paul Owen in the way of his duty " to * 
exercise a vigilant and tender concern over their fellow 
members," to advise and labor with him on the proposed 
disregard of Friends' rules and principles. 

Paul received him courteously; listened respectfully to 
his message, and after a silent pause for devotional re- 
flection, gave a decided reply. 

" I thank thee, Friend, for thy kindly interest in me. 



320 QUAKER BEN 

Thou hast done thy duty as it appeared to thee. But 
permit me to say that, as I view it, thou hast listened to 
a deluding spirit. Is it not a fundamental truth of 
Friends' testimony that the Divine Spirit leads believers 
in all their ways? In this matter of a marriage union 
I have long and earnestly waited upon that Spirit, 
and I have followed His movings upon my heart. The 
lady, I believe, has done the same. Would it not be 
resisting the Spirit to refuse to follow such clear indica- 
tions of His will? I cannot be in unity with thee in this 
concern. I must hold to my own conviction and ex- 
perience of the Divine guidance, and to my right as a 
Friend to decide thereon in a matter which concerns me 
alone. 

" Moreover, in all things our Society stands for rea- 
sonable Christian liberty. If there is anything in which 
a Friend may justly claim liberty, surely it is in the 
choice of a wife. Yet thou wouldst restrain this liberty, 
and put a padlock upon my will, and take away my 
freedom to follow my conscience and affections, which 
in this matter are perfectly clear. That is not a real 
Friendly act, and I feel bound to resist this assault upon 
my Christian liberty. 

"We claim to be, and I believe that in many things 
■we are in advance of the Churches in a wise and tolerant 
regard for freedom of conscience in all religious matters. 
Yet here is a case in which our intolerance shows to 
disadvantage as compared with all Protestant Com- 
munions. There is not a Protestant pastor in Phila- 
delphia who would not at once consent to unite Rhoda 
Reagan and myself in marriage without raising any 
question of religious connection, simply on such grounds 
as we would present to the Monthly Meeting. The 
Church of Rome and the Society of Friends, the very 
antipodes seemingly in discipline and testimony, stand 
together and alone in asserting the ecclesiastical right to 
interfere with the personal freedom of conscience and 
choice in the matter of marriage! That is not a pleas- 



ENGAGEMENT DAYS 321 

ant fact for liberal-minded Friends to meditate upon." 

"Well, Friend Paul/' said the Elder, rising and ex- 
tending his hand in farewell, " I see thee is not moved 
to give up thy will in this matter. Perhaps, if I were 
a young fellow and in thy situation, I might feel as thee 
does. Yet, I would it were otherwise! Many of us 
have looked with satisfaction and fond hopes upon thy 
promise of usefulness in the Society, and it would sorely 
grieve us to disown thee for marrying out of Meeting; 
which I greatly fear may come. Farewell. Thee has 
at least my warm wishes for thy happiness ! " 

So saying, the good man went sadly away, leaving 
Paul still in the bonds of his sweet " error." 

Meanwhile, Father Owen and Mother Lydia moved on 
serenely in their peaceful paths, too grateful for the 
late providential deliverance " from the paw of the lion 
and the bear," and the happy settlement of three of their 
children, to grieve sorely over a matter which, they 
sensibly considered, could work no serious ill to their 
loved ones. To be sure, they regretted the Meeting's 
decision. Father Owen had hoped for, though he hardly 
expected, a different result. He therefore proceeded 
quietly to arrange for the wedding of Grace and Robin 
at his own home with full approbation and in due 
form of the Meeting. At the same time he determined, 
as the young folk all so strongly wished it, to have the 
marriage of Dorothy and Ben-Thee performed by 
Friends' ceremony, but without the Meeting's formal ap- 
proval. This he conceived to be within his liberty, and 
other leading Friends conceded the point. Mother 
Lydia quite agreed to this, and at last the eventful day 
of the weddings was fixed. 

The case of Robin More was greatly forwarded by a 
visit which Angus Reagan had made to Father Owen. 
After Captain More had sailed to Scotland, the lawyer 
had an interview with Robin, to whom he divulged the 
story of his true parentage, and the good fortune that 
had befallen him through his foster-father's generous 



322 QUAKER BEN 

provision for him. If the young man experienced a 
sharp shock at the discovery that the ties which had 
bound him to Captain More were not of nature but 
of adoption, yet there was compensation in the recovery 
of his father's esteem and affection. There was also 
much, very much in the gaining of a real brother of the 
blood in Ben-Thee, to whom he had become warmly 
attached. Nor was it a small consideration, that un- 
expected worldly prosperity permitted his early union 
with Grace Owen under circumstances so grateful 
to his pride and sense of propriety. 

Not that Grace or any of her family would have 
raised objections on the score of lack of worldly goods, 
so long as his sea-faring skill promised an adequate 
means of support. They were all willing to take him 
just as he was and with open arms into the family. 
But his own ideas of what was seemly forbade him to 
ask a maiden to leave a home in which she had been 
used to such secured abundance and care, to share his 
present career with its almost certain self-denials. He 
had therefore made up his mind to defer marriage until 
he had won a suitable home and maintenance for his 
bride. 

Now the way was made clear for him! And it was 
with a heart not only highly content but jubilant, that 
he consented to Mr. Reagan's suggestion that he at once 
lay Robin's change in financial prospects before Father 
Owen, and propose that he unite his fortunes with the 
merchant's firm, and join his sons in business. The 
" Heather," with Robin as commander, would permit a 
profitable enlargement of their commercial undertakings, 
and £2,000 which he would put into the partnership, 
would be capital enough to justify the venture. This 
proposal was gladly accepted, and Robin as a member 
of the firm of " Kersey Owen, Sons & Co." felt him- 
self placed upon a more honorable footing with the 
family. 

Ben-Thee was vastly pleased at the good Providence 



ENGAGEMENT DAYS 323 

which had brought him his long lost brother, and under 
conditions and prospects so highly gratifying. He felt 
the stir of a new emotion; the upspringing of an af- 
fection that had lain dormant, being little more indeed 
than a feeble germ of sentiment. But brotherly love 
shot out into full bloom in a day, like wild flowers in 
early spring. And it added to the happiness of the 
new possession and relation that the two brothers were 
to have the added bond of a union with two sisters. 
In fact, this incident much increased the interest of 
friends and acquaintances in the coming "double wed- 
ding." The event seemed almost like the invention of a 
romance ! 

Ben-Thee had proposed to defer his own wedding until 
he could go to his valley farm and have a suitable house 
put up for his bride. He was loathe to ask her to come 
to his two-roomed cabin. But the sentiment of a double 
wedding, and the good sense of Dorothy, and her simple 
ideas of home-making and plain living blocked that plan, 

" I can readily adjust myself to the conditions of a 
log cabin home," Dorothy declared. " Other women 
have done it, why not I ? There will be no experiences 
to face as rough and primitive as those I passed through 
on my Indian Mission, which I was quite able to endure 
and even to enjoy. With such faithful helpers as Cato 
and Cleo about the house, to begin with, I shall soon 
have our cabin snug and home-like. And we will be 
all the happier in it because of the demand upon toil 
and taste and ingenuity in fitting it up ! Besides, I think 
I would like to share with my husband both the responsi- 
bility and the pleasure of planning out, overseeing, and 
watching the growth of the new house. That is fascina- 
ting employment. Let us share it together ! " 

This settled the matter; for Dorothy's decision har- 
monized with Ben-Thee's inclination. A Philadelphia 
architect was at once set to work upon plans for the new 
farmhouse, with its big bank barn. The pleasures of 
wedded union and of housekeeping were enjoyed by an- 



324 QUAKER BEN 

ticipation in the discussion of the various parts of the 
house, the number, size and location of the rooms, and 
the placing (in imagination) of such household con- 
veniences as the period permitted. 

When the plans were finished, Ben-Thee brought them 
to Dorothy, whose eye fell at once upon the title, en- 
grossed beneath the sketch in fair, round script: 
" Owencroft, the country home of Mr. and Mrs. Ben- 
jamin Owen Hannan, in the Cumberland Valley." 

" Owencroft I How dear in you ! " exclaimed Doro- 
thy. And Ben-Thee felt well rewarded when she threw 
her arms around him, and paid him for this compliment 
to her family name by a warm kiss. 

So the days ran on — how swiftly and delight- 
somely! — consulting with each other and with the 
family; planning, replanning and amending their plans; 
every day happier than its predecessors, and bringing 
them nearer to the wedding-day. What a busy, bliss- 
ful time it was! — in itself most sweet, and a seeding- 
time for reminiscences that brightened many radiant 
hours yet to come ! For the beauty of such days never 
fades away, but lingers even down to hoar hairs. 

Even the shopping was not so very trying to Ben- 
Thee, although it was new and strange work to him. 
He felt quite proud at first as he escorted Dorothy and 
Mother Lydia and sisters Phoebe and Grace from shop 
to shop. But his complacency abated as he followed 
them through all those intricacies of pricing, choosing, 
bargaining and buying which the ladies, dear hearts! 
went through so easily and enjoyably, but which to him 
were mysteries unfathomable by his crude male intellect. 

Time and again did he swing his bulky proportions 
— which had never before seemed to him so unwontedly 
ungainly and out of place, — to some counter or corner, 
table or shelf, responsive to Dorothy's beck or call. 

" What does thee think of that? " queried the maiden. 

"Excellent, admirable, beautiful, fine!" the swain re- 
plied. He soon exhausted his store of commendatory 



ENGAGEMENT DAYS 325 

adjectives, and invariably added, " Never mind what I 
think! Please thyself, and I will be pleased." 

" Thee great awkward boy ! " quoth Dorothy, tapping 
him gently with her fan. " It is idle asking thee what 
thee thinks. I verily think thee doesn't think at all ! " 

Therein she was mistaken. Ben-Thee was thinking; 
and his thoughts ran thus : " How pretty she is, my 
Dorothy! flitting hither and there among the shop- 
keeper's goods, seeming to carry, wherever she goes, a 
circle of sunlight and sweetness! What a wonderful 
little fairy she is! Was there ever as lucky a fellow 
as I! But — how does she with her wee body stand 
this wearisome shopping? while I, with my hulking frame 
— well!—" 

The wedding-day dawned at last, a bright, soft 
November day of Indian summer. Ben-Thee was up at 
an early hour; and sallying forth to walk off his rest- 
lessness, came upon Robin bound upon the same errand. 

" I cannot imagine what makes me so uneasy to-day! " 
said Robin. " I wonder if all folk feel that way on their 
wedding-day ! " 

"Well, brother Robin," Ben-Thee replied — the title 
of " brother " was very sweet in his mouth — " I can 
speak for myself, at least, and confess that I haven't 
slept since the first cock-crowing, for thinking and 
wondering and worrying how I'll get through the cere- 
mony. It seems absurd too ; for I was never so happy 
in my life. Heigh-ho! I wish the affair were well over, 
and we were settled down quietly on our valley farm ! " 

" And that's just the thing," responded Robin, " that 
most troubles me — the settling down! It will all be 
so new, so strange in my experience, that I am perplexed 
beyond measure in thinking how I shall face the new 
life, and adapt myself to it! " 

A brisk walk along the river bank brought them to 
the point opposite to which the " Heather " was anchored. 
Even at that early hour the sailors were astir, for the 
ship was to be " dressed " in honor of the Captain's 



326 QUAKER BEN 

marriage, especially as it had been arranged that Grace 
and Robin would take a voyage to the Barbados as their 
wedding-trip. Robin hailed the brig and a boat put to 
shore, which brought the two brothers on board. 

Robin proposed that they should have breakfast on the 
ship, which pleased Ben-Thee, as the day was likely to 
be long, since they had been forbidden to call upon their 
sweethearts until just before the ceremony. 

As they sat together in the Captain's cabin all spick and 
span for its anticipated fair inmate, Ben-Thee recalled 
his first sight of the " Heather " as it tacked down the 
Schuylkill on that eventful day, over five years ago, 
when he had come with Alfred Oster to Philadelphia 
in charge of Windall and Bete's pack-train. Thus they 
were led to speak of the changes that had befallen in 
that time. How many and how great they had been! 

Oster slept in a soldier's grave near Cartagena on the 
Spanish Main. Unconsciously to him, through the in- 
scrutable ordering of Providence, his interest in his 
mother and sister, uttered in his dying moments, had 
led to an alliance with Chaplain Henry that provided for 
his loved ones with a fullness of comfort far beyond his 
most sanguine hopes. What the ill-gotten gains of his 
wa)nvard years had failed to secure, the noble and con- 
secrated acts of the closing year of life had indirectly 
accomplished. 

Windall and Bete, detected in their many rogueries, 
had been forced to give up their business for lack of 
patronage, and now, broken in reputation and fortune, 
awaited a trial that would probably condemn them to 
prison. Lieutenant Ruel Braun had ended his career as 
a pirate, and lay in the Ocean Cemetery off the Cuban 
coast. 

Ensign Arthur Burbeck — dear old Arthur ! — full of 
honors and happiness, had come safely through the hor- 
rors of Cartagena, and had settled down as a thrifty 
farmer, with the promise to his devoted and beloved 
Kate that he would " daunder " no more. Bubbling 



ENGAGEMENT DAYS 327 

over with joyous spirits, he had come to the marriage 
in charge of the pack-train that was to carry to the 
Valley the goods and chattels for the new house, and 
escort the bride and groom. Mrs. Esther Harris had 
come with him, on Dorothy's warm personal invitation. 
And Andy, too, had come, quite well and strong again, 
for all the horses in the train could not have held him 
back from the wedding of Dorothy, and of his first 
love, whom he still remembered by his boyish soubriquet 
of " Grace's kiss." At Andy's urgent request, his 
faithful friend Fox-foot was also in the train as a 
driver-boy, and was destined to have the richest ex- 
perience of his life. 

Mrs. Naomi Bell, hearty and happy and proud of " her 
boy," had come up from Chester, not only to see the 
marriage, but to go upon the trip to the Barbados, to 
" mother " Grace, and to look after her as she had done 
with Robin. Along with her came Master Hugh An- 
drews and his now thoroughly reconstructed wife; for 
her- son John Knox Andrews had returned with broken 
health, but with a Lieutenant's commission, the reward 
of especial gallantry. There was not now a prouder, 
and hardly a happier pair in Chester than the aged 
schoolmaster and his spouse. The bisected Bible had 
been rebound, and regularly had its place in the daily 
family worship, where once a day, at least, the " bonnie 
Psalms " were sung in " Rpus's varsion." 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

WE GO TO A QUAKER WEDDING 

The evening was propitious. A fair day closed with 
a brilliant sunset, in the soft after-glow of which, re- 
flected from the red brick fronts of Philadelphia houses, 
the elite of Philadelphia's Friendly Society moved in 
groups and couples toward the Spruce Street house of 
the Owens. 

The company gathered in the spacious parlor, was in 
general type and tone not far different from a modern 
assembly of Friends on a like occasion, except in the 
matter of apparel. Quaker plain clothes were the rule 
in both sexes, not the exception, as a twentieth-century 
Friend's wedding is likely to be. To " the world's peo- 
ple," and to all who have an eye to picturesque effect 
in human assemblages, this is a distinct loss. But the 
course of fashion, like the tide of Time, is not to be 
stayed or turned by a mere sentiment, and doubtless the 
old-fashioned comely Quaker apparel is destined to ex- 
tinction. However, it was in full evidence on that In- 
dian Summer eve, at the Owen double wedding, where 
there was none to dispute the Friends' Contention that 
beauty and simplicity in attire are not irreconcilable, and 
that the extravagance and folly of slavish devotion to 
arbitrary, changing fashions should be reprobated and 
shunned. 

A hush fell over the company as Paul Owen, who 
acted as the bridegrooms' man came down the stairs that 
led from the upper rooms into the parlor. Then came 
a little girl, five years old, the daughter of a near kins- 
woman, carrying a basket of flowers ; and following the 
child were Robin and Grace, Ben-Thee and Dorothy. 



A QUAKER WEDDING 329 

They made their way to a sofa placed at one end of the 
room, and there sat down. Another sofa, facing them at 
right angles, was occupied by the four Overseers. The 
family and near friends were grouped irregularly 
around. 

There followed a profound silence in which all the 
Friends present were, or were supposed to be, in devout 
meditation and prayer. This silence was twice broken, 
once by a woman Friend who offered a prayer, and again 
by a man Friend and Minister who gave some wholesome 
advice. Both these exercises were brief. And now, at 
last, there was a movement on the bridegroom's seat, 
upon which all eyes were fixed. Robin and Grace arose, 
and facing each other joined right hands. Then Robin 
repeated in a clear ringing voice, the marriage formula 
as prescribed by Friends* Discipline. 

''In the presence of the Lord, and before this as- 
sembly, I, Robin More Hannan, take thee, Grace Owen, 
to be my wife, promising with Divine assistance to be 
unto thee a loving and faithful husband untU death shall 
separate us," 

Then Grace repeated the same formula, substituting 
her own name for that of Robin's and the word " wife " 
for " husband." This done, Robin bent over and kissed 
her, and both resumed their seats. These two were 
perfectly self-possessed, and passed through the ceremony 
without a flaw, except a little hesitation as Robin pro- 
nounced his new name, which still sounded strange to 
his ears. 

Now uprose Ben-Thee, his tall form towering above 
Dorothy, who, as she took his hand and looked fondly up 
to him, seemed daintier than ever. The big fellow, who 
had never felt his nerves shaken in the face of danger, 
was now fairly abashed as he cast a side glance at the 
company before him. He blushed and stammered as 
he went through his formula and had well-nigh promised 
to be a loving and faithful " wife " to the dear little 
woman, when a quick warning squeeze of her hand ad- 



330 QUAKER BEN 

monished him of his blunder, and he thundered out the 
word " husband '' Hke a military command. 

Then came Dorothy's turn, and there was a glad 
tremulousness in her voice as she repeated her part with- 
out hesitation or a word misplaced. It is to be observed 
that these experiences of Ben-Thee and Dorothy are not 
peculiar. In wedding ceremonies the brides are almost 
sure to go through their part without faltering and in 
perfect form; while, if there is any blundering, it is by 
the groom. 

However, Ben-Thee cared nothing now for how he 
had got through with the form. The sweet fact con- 
tented him that Dorothy was his own — his beloved wife ! 
The mutual vows being spoken, he stooped to the dear 
face that was turned up to him, and kissed her lips. 
Then they sat down and waited in silence. 

A slight ripple of emotion, like the first breath of a 
breeze in a leafy grove, ran through the company as 
Arthur Burbeck lifted his sturdy form in the midst of a 
group near the bridegroom's seat, and announced his 
purpose to speak by a loud " Hem ! " Amazement, 
amusement, disapprobation, expectation, were expressed 
in the involuntary movements and on the faces of the 
good Friends around him. He seemed conscious enough 
of the fact, but it did not shake his purpose or appear 
to embarrass him. He looked straight forward to where 
Ben-Thee and Dorothy sat, and they in turn gazed at him 
with a sort of amused expectation which indicated that 
they were as much surprised as others at Arthur's ap- 
parent purpose to speak. 

"Ahem!" Arthur began, "I am not eggsackly what 
thee-uns would call a member of the Society of Friends, 
as I darsay thee-all know. But I've been so long in 
close comradship wi' our Captain Ben-Thee yander, and 
have got so us't til his theein-and-thouin' way of taUcin' 
that I sometimes think I've absorbed nigh enough o' 
the lingo to make me half a Quaker at laste. 

"An' so I ventur' to rise an' say a word for Ben- 



A QUAKER WEDDING 331 

Thee and Miss Dorothy, seein' as no wan else is moved 
tharto. But thee- folks mustn't axpict much ; for Fm not 
in practice; and you know the sayin' — comb seldom, 
comb sore ! But Cap'n Robin and Miss Grace have had 
several good talks an* prayin's in thar behalf — an' well 
they desarve 'em! — wile Cap'n Ben an' Miss Dorothy 
have had nary wan ; which isn't accordin' to Quaker rules 
of fair play. So here goes; though I'd a heap rather 
have some of thee- folks do the han'some thing by 'em; 
for I'm no preacher, an' was not cut out to be ; an' thee- 
uns know the old sayin' — Ye can't make a silver whustle 
out of a pig's tail. 

"What I like about Friends' marriage ceremony is 
that both bridegroom and bride make the same promise 
an' covenant — to be ^ loving an' faithful.' That covers 
it all, an' is fair to both. Our folks make the wife 
promise to be obeydient, also; which is all right when it 
is right. But what's sauce for the goose is sauce for 
the gander, I reckon, and vicy varsy ; an' I can't see why 
the bridegroom shouldn't promise to obey, too! He's 
mighty liable to have to do it annyhow, accordin' to my 
observation — an' axperience. 

" Oh, you nadent smile, Mr. Ben-Thee I For big as 
ye are, and little as is your bride, ye'U find that a pound 
o' feathers is as heavy as a pound o' lead ; an' she'll put 
ye under her thumb as aisy as kissin' ! So you'd beeta 
make up your mind at wanst to share an' share alike in 
the matter of bossin'. That's nayther a question of sex, 
or size or weddin' wows, but of natteral faculty an' 
practical fact. But if you don't — well, I've known one 
lively little hornet, bent on business, to set a whole room- 
ful of big men and women into a fearful commotion! 
That's not intimatin' that Miss Dorothy is in the laste like 
a hornet save in proportion. It's jist a figur' o' spache! " 

By this time more than Ben-Thee were smiling. Most 
of the company were in a state of amused excitement, 
except a few of the more sedate Friends, who were taking 
the innovation seriously. One of the Overseers was 



332 QUAKER BEN 

particularly exercised, and made motions to rise as if to 
stop Arthur as one not speaking to edification. But the 
good Quakers who sat beside him, pulled his sleeve and 
whispered : 

" Peace, Friend, thee's not an Overseer for Dorothy's 
wedding!" 

Arthur was not to be suppressed. He advanced a 
step nearer to the bridegroom's seat, and with a wave 
of his hand and a determined glance at the Overseer, 
who thereupon subsided, went straight on with his ad- 
dress. 

" All married folk have a honeymoon, av coorse. For 
the time it seems as if it would niver and. But it tvUI 
and; an' life will settle down to its humdrum duties an' 
sarvice. A new broom sweeps cl'ane ; an' a new wife or 
husband sames faultless. But by an' by, whan the 
first fine aidge of the new life gits worn down a bit, 
the rough points may begin to show. An' that's a 
ticklish time wi* young folks! Whan my old parson 
married Kate an' me, * my children,' sayd he, * I've jist 
one brafe bit of advice to give ye.' — He was what thee- 
uns call a 'hireling minister' of coorse; but there'll be 
no charge for repatin' his advice here. An' annyhow he 
was about the worst paid worker in the country-side, 
so that oughtn't to count agin him, I reckon. Well, 
the dominie says, says he, ' // ye niver spake the first un- 
kind word to one anither, yell never spake the second! 
Can ye mind that ? ' says he. 

" So I nods my head, approvin' like ; an' Kate up an' 
says, says she, ' That's as true as praychin', your River- 
ence ! ' 

" ' Ay,' says he, * an' far truer nor some pra'chin I 
wot of. An' here's another bit of wholesome counsel. 
You're both of ye rayther high-strung an' peppery- 
tempered. See to it that only wan of ye gits mad 
at a time, an' then always count fifty till yourself afore 
ye spake out. If ye do that,' says he, ' I'll guarantee 
ye'll kape the p'ace lovingly all your lives.' 



A QUAKER WEDDING 333 

"An' now, I'll give ye another advice which maybe 
thee'U like better since an old Quaker gintlemen give it 
til his son. * My son/ says he, * whan thee went a- 
courtin' I bade thee kape both eyes wide open. But now 
thee's married, I advise thee to kape them half shut.' 
That's wise advice. I've niver yet knowd a perfect man 
— or woman aither, though they're apt to come a leetle 
nearder the mark. So it's jist as well for wedded folks 
not to spy out too closely for faults. They'll be mortal 
sure to find 'em; an' some that don't exist, too! Ye've 
taken ither for better or warse ; an' what's been done can't 
be ondone. Lasteways, it oughtn't to be ondone — 
niver! So, if ye should iver find yourselves a bit dis- 
app'inted wi' wan anither, jist jook an' let the wave go 
by, as the sea bathers do! You can pick a pimple intil 
a runnin' sore, that, lat alone, would heal itself in a day 
or two. Naggin' an' pickin' at ither's faults, is sure 
to make 'em warse an' to make faults where there were 
none afore. 

" Now, Cap'n Ben-Thee, I reckon thee belaves thee's 
got the fairest an' best maid in Philadelphy — present 
company axcapted, of coorse, as is always polite — an' 
I agree wi' you ! She's the pick o' the Quaker flock, an' 
they're the pick an' ch'ice o' all the rist of us. But ye 
both belong to races somewhat famous for their strong, 
not to say stubborn wills — the Scotch Irish an' the Eng- 
lish Quakers. So I ask ye both to remamber the Scotch 
Irish lady's prayer for her man : * Lord kape him right, 
for I'm fell sure he'll be steadfast ! ' " 

The smiles that met this sally were quite audible ; and 
three of the Overseers looked scandalized and serious. 
The fourth one, who was a round-faced, fair-cheeked 
matron, with a merry twinkle in her eyes, indulged in in- 
ward laughter that evoked a rebuking glance from one 
of her associates; which, however, only enlarged the 
curves on her jolly face. Arthur looked around him in 
well feigned surprise at such apparent levity in a Friends' 
Meeting. 



334 QUAKER BEN 

"An' now fathers an' brethren, an' fellow Friends," 
he continued, " I've often h'ard that the two hardest 
things about a spache are to git started, an' to stop. 
An' I belave it ! For I've tried several times a'ready to 
find a good jumpin' off place, an' I'm still a runnin' on. 
So havin' said my say, and gien thee-all more good ad- 
vice nor thee'll be apt to remamber, I jist wush thee-all, 
married an' single, a happy life in the holy estate of 
matrimony, an' I'll mak' my congee an' tak' my sate." 

The rustle of many moving bodies that followed the 
relaxing of the keen interest in Arthur's address, was 
succeeded by a deep silence. This was broken by the 
trembling voice of Father Owen, who led in a fervent 
prayer for his beloved children, and for invited guests, 
and especially for those " honored and faithful friends 
who are with us in the fellowship of the spirit, though 
not of the form, by whose self-sacrificing aid, at the 
risk of their own lives, the late messengers of the So- 
ciety were delivered from bodily bondage and peril." 
His voice was broken with emotion; and there were 
tears in many eyes as he closed his tender petition. 

Thereupon Paul Owen rose at Robin's side and un- 
rolling a large parchment, read the certificate of mar- 
riage, in form as follows : 

" Whereas Robin More Hannan of Philadelphia in the 
County of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, son of 
Thomas Hannan of County Antrim, Ireland and his wife 
Mary, both deceased, and Grace Owen, daughter of 
Kersey Owen and Lydia his wife, having declared their 
intentions of marriage with each other before a Monthly 
Meeting of the religious Society of Friends, held at 
Philadelphia, according to the good order used among 
them, and having consent of parents, their said proposal 
of marriage was allowed by the said Meeting. 

" Now, these are to certify to whom it may concern, 
that for the full accomplishment of their said intentions, 
this tenth day of the eleventh month in the year of 
our Lord 1742, the said Robin More Hannan and Grace 



A QUAKER WEDDING 335 

Owen appeared at a meeting at the house of Kersey 
Owen in the city of Philadelphia, and the said Robin 
More Hannan, taking the said Grace Owen by the hand, 
did, on this solemn occasion, openly declare that he took 
her, the said Grace Owen, to be his wife, promising with 
Divine assistance, to be unto her a loving and faithful 
husband until death should separate them; and then in 
the same assembly, the said Grace Owen did in like man- 
ner declare that she took him, the said Robin More 
Hannan to be her husband, promising with Divine as- 
sistance to be unto him a loving and faithful wife until 
death should separate them. And moreover, they, the 
said Robin More Hannan and Grace Owen (she accord- 
ing to the custom of marriage, assuming the name of 
her husband) did, as a further confirmation thereof, 
then and there to these presents set their hands. 

" And we, whose names are also hereunto subscribed, 
being present at the solemnization of the said marriage 
and subscription, have as witnesses thereto, set our 
hands the day and year before written.'* 

Having thus read in full, Paul unrolled a second parch- 
ment and said : " I have here another certificate of like 
import and form except that therein the names of Ben- 
jamin Owen Hannan and Dorothea Owen appear, and 
the approval of the Monthly Meeting is not certified. I 
will read this only in part. And at the close of this 
Meeting, I invite the Friends present to join in the sub- 
scription of both the certificates as witnesses of these 
marriages." 

A brief interval followed of unbroken devotional 
silence. Then one of the Overseers offered his right 
hand to his next neighbor, who clasped it in his own. 
This was the sign of breaking the Meeting. Imme- 
diately, the two brides and grooms arose and joining 
right hands greeted one another with a kiss. There- 
upon, friends came forward and offered their congratu- 
lations. At the same time in the opposite part of the 
room, the certificates of marriage were spread upon a 



336 QUAKER BEN 

table, with pens and ink, and a stream of guests, who 
came to sign their names, flowed thereto and therefrom. 
The collation then served was doubtless in accordance 
with that " moderation '* which Friends' rules enjoin, 
" that no reproach arise or occasion of offense be given." 
But certainly, the tables, heaped with the best of the 
substantials and dainties of the New World Colonies, 
amply testified that with Philadelphia Friends, at least, 
the idea of " moderation " carried no hint of penury or 
asceticism. 



4